Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dads Do Even More!

When I was in college, it was legal in Kansas to drink beer. As my friends and I would go to our favorite college watering holes, we would sometimes try to sneak out with a beer glass or pitcher. Sometimes the bouncers would catch us and sometimes we they wouldn't. When caught, we received a verbal lashing but never got into serious trouble. We thought it was nothing more than a game of cat and mouse.

One day, I was with my dad and some other men at a small town tavern. As we left, dad was talking with some of the other men and I found it extremely easy to walk out with a beer glass. I laughed and showed it to my dad as we were walking to our car. He found nothing funny about it and made it clear that I was stealing. I immediately returned the glass to the tavern and walked out with my tail between my legs. I suddenly saw my actions as something other than a game and never attempted it again, at a college bar or anywhere else.

First off, thanks for stating the obvious (but politically incorrect)that Dads do care, do matter and want to be involved with their kids. You honor us all when you honor fathers. I feel the same way about mothers.

Today, I:

1. Took my kids to church, with my wife.
2. Visited with friends afterward- with my kids.
3. Placed flowers at a friend's grave-site with my wife, and kids.
4. Ran around the block with them, and our dog. (My wife stayed home.)
5. Encouraged them when they got tired while running, scolded them when they tried to take an unnecessary potty break during church, and hugged them for no good reason at all. I love my girls and they know it.

Later tonight I will read to them before going to bed and praying with them as a family with my wife. Even the cat joins in.

I have told them repeatedly that they can do anything a man can do, except being a father. Why? Because it's the truth, and I will share no less with them. What's more important than anything I do with or for them, is just being here for them though it all- the vacation trips, the arguments with the wife (the making up, too), report cards, the whole nine yards. I thank God I have a chance to have these human beings "on loan" for awhile, and I hope I do my best to set a good example for them
while I can.

Everything. Our son is 5.

I'm there for him every day.

I get him up and take him to pre-school.

I stay up with him at night.

Today was Memorial Day, and like many weekend days, my wife had to work. I helped him get dressed, made us lunch, we played in the sprinklers, fought a light saber duel, played baseball, went to the mall, shopped for a toy, played video games, and cleaned the living room. I also did some laundry and a bit of dishes.

Yes, my wife does most of these things too, but I'm there every day for my son.

What Dads Do: Love the mothers of their kids and provide a beautiful picture of that to their sons. Today while walking my 2 1/2 year old son to the park, I stopped and picked up an orange eucalyptus flower that had fallen from the tree above us. I explained what it was to my son and he wanted to hold it. We also picked up some eucalyptus pods--he held those too. Then when we arrived at the park, my son gave the flower to the first girl he saw. You should have seen the grin on both their faces! He had seen his daddy give flowers to me and was doing it in turn. What a beautiful picture for many reasons--most importantly is the reminder that little boys learn to treat women in part by the way their father treats their mother.

My father always (and to this day) encouraged us to treat other’s fairly, and to repair any relationships that became fractured.

He would never hesitate to give us a ride to a friend’s house, the park, or the local swimming pool, and would wait patiently in the car with his reading material while we played with our friends.

Although a lawyer earning a high hourly rate, he always drove inexpensive automobiles and washed them on Saturdays. This, to me, was a great example of modesty and an attitude of gratitude.

When my mother required a wheelchair, this man who loved to spend endless hours reading and serving clients became a caregiver of impeccable patience and tenderness.

This is a man who moved us all from New York to Phoenix in the 70’s (New York wasn’t a great place to be back then), with only a few contacts and no clients, simply to give his kids a better life.

His lessons continue to resound in my life.

My parents didn't have the best marriage but at least my mom left my dad after me and my sister were out of the house and married. My mother has many emotional and physiological problems that she doesn't want to face. She lashed out at us a few times. But my Dad was the rock in our family. He showed us by his example how to trust God through all the difficulties in life. He taught us to turn to God no matter how big or small our problems were. My Dad is a very calm and even-tempered man. I don't remember him ever yelling at us. He did spank us but he always did it after talking to us and telling us exactly why he had to do it. My Dad is very humble as well. He thinks he didn't do a very good job of raising us but I think he did a great job. He showed us love, compassion, patience, how to be humble and how to trust the Lord.

No comments: