My Three Sons…
I am watching the lives of my son’s manhood unfold before my eyes and I am in awe. All three are so strong in so many ways….strong to the point of occasional stubbornness, loyal to the ideals of a family but still willing to stand for themselves, hard working and persevering, honest in their world and with themselves.
I am very proud .
As I see them live their lives, I see more and more that dads are necessary. Not the fathers of B/W sitcoms who “knew best” or the father who bailed the Beaver out of whatever trouble he found himself. No, what we need are dads.
Those ordinary guys who have pushed through the lack of a dad in their childhood…those guys who pushed through multiple failures and mistakes…those guys who have faced and are facing their own giants…those guys who, in raw honesty, can stand bear before their sons and daughters and show with their lives; “this is what I learned.”
The responsibility of fatherhood is so immense that many men, not knowing how to do it, back away at the first signs of failure and trouble. We don’t always know best. We don’t always have the answers. We are often too tired, too worn out and too afraid to be the father of our ideals. Feeling a failure, we retreat to what we knew…the standard we were shown by our birth father.
Stepping up and doing what is uncomfortable, unselfish and unsafe because if you don’t do it, it won’t be done.
Once I quit trying to be a father, which I didn’t know how to do, and focused on becoming a man, I became the dad that my sons needed. And, the fruit of my manhood is now seen in the lives of my sons.
This didn’t happen because I am a great guy. I am not. This didn’t happen because I suddenly found all the right answers. I did not. This didn’t happen because I now have all the right reactions. I do not. This happened because I realized that if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done.
I know now that you never truly “get over” being raised without a dad but you learn to push beyond that lack. That limp does not define who you are but tells the story of where you’ve come. That story…your story…is what your kids need to hear. The telling and hearing provides healing for you both.
It worked in my life. It will work in yours. My sons’ willingness to forgive me of my many failures in their lives helped me to see the way to forgive myself. For that, i am forever grateful.
Happy Father’s Day boys…I love you all more than I can say.