For most things in life, my motto is “good enough”. There is a military quote, Patton I believe, that says “a good enough plan, executed violently, is better than a perfect plan executed too late”. Growing up under the influence of my grandfathers, products of the Depression in Alabama where the exact right part or tool or length of lumber was just unavailable, I learned to improvise until something was “good enough”. This philosophy has served me well in most things. There is little in life that has to be perfect so long as it is good enough to do the work for which it is intended. In short, for most things, I believe in hillbilly engineering.
Then there is Fatherhood. I have been blessed with and given responsibility for 4 absolute gems. They are precious, not just because they are mine, but for the futures that they represent, the potential they contain. When it comes to fathering them, perfect is not good enough. They deserve every consideration of which I am capable, every bit of wisdom I can dredge up, every resource and opportunity. Steering them on their path into man and womanhood is the highest calling I have.
Now, here I have to also be cautious. That attitude could go bad in several ways. I could seek to protect them so thoroughly from life that they grow stunted. They need to get some bruises, get a little bloody. That is part of life and makes them, ultimately; better than they might otherwise be. It could also lead me to put a lot of pressure on them. Pressure to grow too fast or to grow in a direction I want them to go, rather than letting them blossom into the natural shape they were designed for. What may appear foolishness to me now may be the only sane path to where God intends them to be, so I must be cautious. They are not fruit trees to be espaliered, but wild things, never quite tame, to be brought up to be boon companions, warriors and warrioresses of a long and noble line. Neither slave nor master, but future guardians of the Light.
For the task, the honor, that is Fatherhood, good enough will never be good enough.