By Justus Njoroge
A while back, I noted that my son was getting increasingly interested in cars and I promised him that I will take him one of these days to a car show room. Interestingly like most parents, that very promise I made escaped my mind for a long time.
Two weeks back I decided to honor my pledge. It was daddy and son day out. It was a unique date. I never explained to my wife or to my son where we were headed. All I explained that it was a trip for the boys. I remember the smile on Josh as we left the house walking hand in hand. Although our daughter wanted to accompany us, I reminded her that this date was strictly for the boys. I am still thinking of daddy and daughter day out, if you have any suggestions, I would gladly welcome them.
Our first stop was a car bazaar not very far from our home. I talked to the car dealer and he was gracious enough to allow me to take my son around and see the different cars. The smile that I saw in that boy, I will not forget for a long time. The car brands on offer ranged from BMW, Range Rover, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, and Porsche and off course the common car for most Kenyans, the Toyota. The boy would start with the rear of the car, to note the series of the specific brand and then move to check the dash-board with one objective in mind; identify the maximum speed of the car and shout it aloud to me. ‘Dad, this car can go up to a state of …?’, and I would check and respond ‘250 Km/hr’. Some of the cars had their speedometer calibrated in Miles per hour. It was interesting explaining the difference between a mile and a kilometer. The smile on his face was indescribable.
We completed other errands and returned home, later in the afternoon. When we reached home, the only thing the boy was talking was cars. His interest was one, which is the fastest car in the whole word and what is its maximum speed. There was only one way to know this. Get to Google and check it out. So we watched a couple of YouTube videos, with cars racing. It seemed the cars that excited him most were Lamborghini, Bugatti and Porsche. He had so many questions, some of which I could not answer.
On Saturday evening I had promised that I will show him a duel between a Bugatti and a Lamborghini to see which car was the fastest. The agreed time was on Sunday after church, on one condition; if he agreed to sleep early. On Sunday morning, he reminded me of my promise which I clarified was for after church not before. Somehow after church, he forgot the whole thing. But in the evening, when I was urging him to sleep, he quipped ‘But dad, you had promised that you will show me, which car between Bugatti and Lamborghini was the fastest? You Njoro!. You are a very cheeky man!’ We burst out laughing with my wife. I opened my laptop and fulfilled my promise pap!
At times as parents, we give promises to our children just to get rid of them. At times we promise them nice thinks to motivate them to eat or even stop demanding certain stuff. Many times we take for granted that children too keep memories and remember all promises made to them.I believe we will earn more trust from our children when we learn to keep our word, irrespective of how inconvenient it is keeping that promise. If you find that it’s hard to keep promises to your children, then for heaven’s sake don’t make them. If you promise to buy a sweet, chocolate, a soda or whatever other enticement you use to motivate your children to do certain things, kindly ensure you go ahead and fulfill that promise. Let your children know that when mum or dad says he will do something, they know for sure you will do.
If you are a dad out there, please honor your word to your children. God is able to do what He says He will do. As an earthly representative of God our Father, you owe it to your children to show them by example that you are a real Father like the heavenly Father who keeps his word. Honor your word. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. The trust that your children will vest on you, will depend on the trail of kept or broken promises. Probably the next time, they will not even be interested in your promises anymore. It would not make a difference to them anymore. Don’t let yourself, get there. Honor your word, if you are a man of honor.