Sunday, June 18, 2006

 

Fathers Day


This is my seventh one now, seven years since my daughter was born. My son, is four, and only now becoming aware of the holidays other than children centered ones. Fathers Day? What's that dad? Well, it's rather complicated, a father's bond with his children is different than a mother's. Both are warm, loving, and both cherish the little lives we've made together. The differences are subtle, more of tone than substance.

A father's place with the children, at least for us, is rather,... well it's like mommy fills the need for a friend, a giver, a more accessable playmate. A source of easy affection. A father, is more formal I guess is the word. Daddy loves you, but he expects certain things from you too. I'll always love them no matter what, but it's with the father that they learn things more easily than with mom. They start to pick up things like, responsiblity, working hard to get something, and taking pride in having earned it. They strive to please daddy, to earn his approval, my love they have, but it's my respect that they seek. My daughter is so special, so smart, already at the top of her class. She's also getting peer pressure to act dumb. Classmates who pick on her for knowing the answers they don't.

Never, ever be ashamed to be the best baby. Never hide what you are, don't dumb yourself down to win the friendship of someone who only wants you to play the dummy so they can appear smart. They aren't and never will be your friend, not if they demand your self respect as a trophy. I think she understood what I was telling her. She's so very able, and to waste that is a sin against herself. I'll deal with the bullies, through her teachers, her school, and through that kids parents if I must. I won't see her hold back her talent for a worthless friendship. She shines, and should never want to be ashamed of it. I also tried to teach her, that being the smartest kid, isn't a license to rub it in the other kids faces. She can be kind, needn't be stuck up, she doesn't have to be like the bully, to make others feel bad to make herself feel good.

My pride in her is so profound, and she's doing so well. I don't fear for her ability to make friends, she has so many already. She's taking my advice, and she's doing her best, all that a father really asks for really. My son will be starting preschool in the fall. I have already been working with him to learn things that will help him...

Their mother could teach them these things, she's also so very bright. Coming from dad however, these lessons seem to be more easily accepted. Their mommy will always come to mind first, that's a bond I would never seek to interfere with. A bond that's natural. My place is natural too, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's before bedtime, when they each climb up on either side of me in my chair, as they snuggle close and say, " We love you daddy" that I feel like I'm king of all things. For a little while, I'm mindful too of the responsibility of teaching them to not just accomplish tasks, but how to have rules that govern their lives. How to behave in ways that allow them to have the self respect and decency that we all would like to have.

Fathers Day isn't about gifts in boxes, but gifts from their hearts, gifts given through their eyes. If you measure a man's wealth by that, I'm a very wealthy man.

Happy Fathers Day.

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