American Idol makes me cry. Not in the way you might think. I don’t cry over the extremely bad talent that tends to persist most episodes. (They have done a much better job this season of showing a limited number of un-talented individuals.) I also don’t cry when the 100th person talks through tears saying that this “means everything in the world to me.” (Seriously, every person says the exact same thing about how much it means to them. At minimum—think of some different words to use.)
I have to admit, American Idol can make me cry when they carefully edit their video to draw out emotions through some of the sad stories that contestants carry with them. Not all sad stories make me cry—most of them don’t actually. Last week Rachel and I were watching the auditions and they highlighted a young man, a boy really, that his mom just left when he was young and his dad was not suited to raise him. His grandparents, then took on the responsibility of raising him.
His audition was remarkable with an extra large helping of raw talent. I sat there, listening to this gifted boy, and began to cry over what his parents were missing. How do you just give up on the opportunity to raise your son? It makes me sad, and it makes me so angry at the same time. These parents have actively chosen to not be a part of their child’s life. (I understand that some people don’t have a choice, and it’s better to give up their children. But some people simply don’t put forth effort.) Thankfully, this individual boy seemed to have a great set of grandparents that dearly loved him and supported him.
It’s so weird to think, after watching a menial show such as American Idol, I hugged my kids a little harder and prayed over them a little stronger. Somehow American Idol helped me to cherish being their father a little more, even if just for one day.
That’s what Intentional Fatherhood and parenthood are all about. Finding the love and absolute joy in parenting in the all the strange places in life. So hug your son or daughter a little bit tighter today—even if American Idol is what made you do it. What matters is that you do it…and you never stop.