Parenting is a crazy ride.  We have good periods and rough patches with our kids, but I was reminded this week that sometimes it just takes one small gesture to provide a great deal of hope.  For me, that gesture happened one week ago today.

Last Sunday, just as I was about to leave town for my weeklong adventure of presentations, Micah burst into the house. “Has dad left yet?” he asked.  When he saw me, he look relieved and handed me a nicely wrapped gift.  “Love you,” he said, as he accosted me with a bear hug.  And I’ve been smiling ever since.  Yes, apparently unprompted, my son spent the morning driving around looking for just the right Father’s Day tie to give me.

The tie is perfect.  It’s colorful, quirky and a bit unorthodoxed – sort of like Micah and me.  Of course, the tie is not what makes me smile as much as the gesture of what it represents. Micah is growing up, our relationship is strong, and he’s figuring life out – not according to my timeline or in the way I thought, but the good news is that there is hope.  And when inevitable conflicts arise, I plan to look at my new Facebook profile picture and colorful tie to adjust my perspective.  So parents, I challenge you to look for the good.  Look for the hope.  Sometimes it’s hard to see, but it is always there.