“Hey Dad, do we need this!”

Hey Dad..!

Hey Dad..! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was in the irrigation department at the Home Depot when a scene unfolded that drew my attention…and my heart. A dad was searching for whatever he needed when his little guy – maybe 3 or 4 years old – grabbed something that caught his eye. It was a bubbler head on a small plastic stake that attached to a 1/4″ tube. The price tag was $1.04. “Hey Dad, do we need this!” It was more of a statement than a question. There was no doubt in this boy’s mind it was indispensable to the success of their project.

Barely looking up, the dad flatly told him “No.” With sadness, the little guy put it back in the bin.

It reminded me of the time I was at Lieske’s Hardware Store in Davison, Michigan with my youngest son Ryan. He was about 7 at the time. Ryan spotted a 4 1/2″ Makita grinder he thought we needed. (I don’t remember exactly how much it cost, but it was more than the bubbler head:) My first thought was the same as the HD dad… “No.” But I could tell by the look in Ryan’s eyes this was a time I needed to decide with my heart rather than my head. We bought the grinder, and he carried it to the truck – like it was some kind of trophy.

In a way, it was a trophy. It proclaimed, “Your little voice matters!” It was a priceless moment. The money I spent was an investment in him, and in us – as father and son.

As a dad and a grandpa, I’m sure I’ve missed many more opportunities than I’ve gotten right. So all the more, I wonder when the next opportunity to invest in a precious life – to hear the voice – will pop up.

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