Growing up I was lucky. My parents divorced when I was one, that’s not the lucky part, but my dad was always in the picture. As a kid I was exposed to good men and bad men. I always considered my dad to be one of the good ones, hardworking, kind, made time for me and most of all an even guy. By an even guy I mean he was always calm in any situation, never over reacting and someone I never felt I could not trust. He wasn’t a disciplinarian but he was respected because of the things I listed.
I wasn’t afraid of not doing what dad said because I thought there would be a punishment, I was afraid of not doing what he said because I respected him too much to do otherwise. That’s not to say I was a very well-behaved kid, far from it, but dad was the kind of guy you didn’t want to disappoint because you loved him so much.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my relationship with my own kids, how it’s been over the years and what it’s like now. There are things I wish I could go back and change, yelling out of anger (dad never did that) or overreacting when they acted like kids. There’s no set in stone rule book for raising kids, I’ve tried different things with mixed results, but I do know there are things all kids need and that’s love, kindness and a role model. Someone needs to provide those last three things, mom and dad, mom or dad..or whatever. I’ve made spending time with my kids a priority and each day I’m so thankful that my career allows me to do that often. I’ve also worked hard at trying to be the things my dad was to me.
Right now I’m lucky. I’m getting divorced, that’s not the lucky part, but the mother of my kids is an awesome role model who’s there for our kids. She’s a hard worker, even-tempered, and they trust her. Despite what’s happening to my marriage I know the kids are and will always be our priority. I’m thankful for that.
MM – what a beautiful tribute to your father! My father passed away 10 years ago. It was expected due to an illness. My daughters, Mother and I were with him that night, all gathered around him,listening to stories my mom had about when they first met, laughing at things he did – he was a VERY funny man! I tell one of my brothers all the time how I am so much funnier than he, because I’m most like my dad. He doesn’t see the humor in it, but I do each time I see the smirk on his face that is identical to my father’s!! I am sorry for your divorce – life changes and with life, come some painful changes. I know because I too am where you are. Well, I’m about three months past it.
Like you, I do as much as I can to stay focused on my children. I have one still at home who receives the bulk of my attention and nurturing, but I work to remember, even though they are out of the house, they still need the nurturing. And with the divorce, they need the nurturing by knowing we’re okay!!
Keep on keeping on Dad. My girls are the best thing I’ve ever accomplished!
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Thank you for commenting and sharing the story about your own father and thank you for the encouragement.