Many of you know this story. When it became apparent that I was going on sabbatical, Suzy said, “Webb you need to tell the kids.” Memories of that conversation still take my breath away. I prayed, spent time walking and thinking, and sought out the advice of a dear, dear friend.
I poured out my soul to my friend and counselor that day, and he listened and then said, “Webb, what are you afraid of?” I said, “I have to tell my children I am not perfect.” He smiled a knowing smile and said, “A perfect parent is the worst form of child abuse there is. I see more patients who are terribly messed up as a result of perfect parents. Go tell your kids the truth. It will be hard, but when you do you and they will be much better for it.”
Now I don’t wish my situation on anyone. Suzy said the other day about someone in the news, “You don’t want anyone to go to jail, do you.” My response, “No I don’t.”
Being broken, not being perfect is an integral part of each of our lives. The sooner we know this the better. Once we embrace the whole person we are, our faults and our virtues we take the first step toward living and loving well. Take it from me. The moment I told the kids I took the first step toward living and dieing well.