He Had a Hammer and Deadly Intentions

I watched him through the kitchen window.  He was running around outside with a hammer in his hand.  He had deadly intentions.

My wife’s scream is what started all of this.  I was in the kitchen with my sons when I heard her.

“There is a squirrel in…”

Stop there.

I don’t know if it was the sound of her voice or just me being negative but a large part of me expected that sentence to end with the words toilet, bathtub or bed.  What would I do?  How does one take care of a squirrel in the toilet, bathtub or bed?  Thankfully, that problem can wait for another day.

“… bird feeder.”

“There is a squirrel in our bird feeder!”

The boys and I looked out the window and saw the thief.  I have no idea how squirrels find out about bird feeders or how they get into them but they’re good at both.  As I looked, thoughts rushed through my head.

Awesome!  No wait.  I’m supposed to be upset about this.

Do something, Jay.  You can’t just stand there and watch that little rat eat all the bird seed.

Football!  That’s it.  Get a football and knock that sucker out.  You can buy another bird feeder.

While I was still standing there collecting my thoughts my son was already outside.  He found a plastic hammer from one of his toy tool boxes and was creeping up on the squirrel, Friday the 13th style.  This really scared me because although it may seem cool at first, nobody wants to see their five-year-old son kill two squirrels with a plastic hammer.

This event served as a good reminder of all that I have to be thankful for as a dad.

I’m thankful for the joy of teaching my sons how to pray.  One day they are going to need to know how to do it on their own.

I’m thankful that I get to hear my sons tell me that God made all people in his image regardless of what color their skin is.

I’m thankful for the precious but few moments when my sons share their toys.

And I’m thankful for getting to see my two boys eagerness to protect their home from squirrels and any other invaders.

I pray over my boys every morning and every night.  One of the things I ask is that, from an early age, they would be men who are quick to act for the glory of God.  Seeing that tiny hand hold that plastic hammer let me know that although we have certainly not arrived, God is answering my prayers for my boys in his own way.

I was raised by a single mom so Father’s Day was always bad news for me.  But now that I’m an adult I’ve learned a lot about forgiveness and the joy of raising my own kids in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

My son eventually came back inside.  He didn’t kill the squirrel but he did have good news and bad news.

“The bad news is that the squirrels took all the food.  The good news is that I ran them off.”

For me, being a dad is a whole lot more good news than bad news.