To celebrate Father’s Day, share this video with the dads in your life. The poignant, short drama shouts, “We love you” and emphasizes the need for men to take care while driving. A simple but powerful message.
Happy Father’s Day.
My son lives far away, on the Canadian border. I seldom witness his interaction with his children. But when I do, it’s a beautiful thing; one that makes me proud of what he learned under my roof. This is about one of those rare moments when I actually saw immortality created.
My son was preparing his sons for bed. They were bathed, tired and starting to wind down. As their voices quieted, I heard a familiar sound from their bedroom. My son was singing a nursery rhyme that I had sung to him, some thirty years before.
I was moved, as I listened and realized, he had remembered every word. What’s more, he was doing more than just singing. He was conveying his love and affection to these little people, just as I did, so many decades ago. Surely such ordinary but heartfelt incidents are the immortality of ordinary people who live and love.
It’s in the stories we capture from the past and pass along as our gifts to the future. In the poetry we create and the letters we write. In the values we treasure and the integrity we show. It’s the gentleness with which we correct. It’s in the examples we set by what we do, so much more than what we say.
This is what it’s all about. What we teach by word and deed is the legacy we leave behind. By leading a good life, we do indeed find immortality.
Sometimes in the notes of a song filling a child’s bedroom, to the beat of a quietly rocking chair.
P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who sing and read and talk to their kids – including those who have grown up. They too need your support and attention.
“Overwhelmed” is how parents with careers have described their days during the pandemic. A constant dual between family and work. Kids can get caught in the middle. This little guy had a solution.
Buy Your Time
A man came home from work late. He was tired and irritated and was actually hoping that his 5-year-old son was already in bed. Instead, there was the child excited to see his weary dad and full of questions.
“Daddy,” he asked, “how much do you make an hour?” Well, dad had no idea of where the conversation would lead. “If you must know, I make $50 an hour”. “Oh,” the little boy said, disappointed. “Could I borrow $25?”. Well, the father was just too tired to continue the conversation. But later, he went into the child’s bedroom to tuck his son in for the night.
“Here’s the money you wanted to borrow son. What’s it for?” “If I add it to what I saved up,” the little boy explained, “I’ll have $50. Now I can buy an hour of your time.” His dad looked dumbfounded. His son continued, “I’d like to have dinner with you Dad. Show you how good I throw a ball now and ride my bike really fast. I know you have to earn money for us, but I could give you the money if you could give me your time.” So easy for us to work so hard that time slips through our fingers. Be sure to share your valuable time with those who count.
P.S. How do you spend time with your kids? It doesn’t count if he is playing his video game over there and you are playing yours over here! Time that counts is time spent in the present when you’re listening and she is too. Not easy. Start out by lifting your eyes off the phone, looking each other in the face, and smiling. Does wonders.
The image and role of father is fast changing in today’s culture. Do the old school values still count? So many new concepts and trends to consider. Confusing for kids, young adults and parents alike. What’s a father to do?
Shout Out for Dads
Over the years, there have been many Consider This shows about mothers. We do a special series on moms, right before Mother’s Day each year.
But little has been said about dads. A listener wrote in and mentioned that.
So today’s shout out is for all the fathers who are quietly carrying out their responsibilities and having a good time of it, at that. Who support their families, financially and spiritually. Who share the transporting of kids and participate in conversation in the car. Who watch the games and cheer the kids and never take out a referee or a coach.
Here’s to the fathers who are setting examples that their children will follow when they grow up. To dads who teach, by their actions, what a caring parent does and how he acts.
Here’s to the dads who hug and tease and play video games or throw a ball or take the training wheels off a bike and show their love wordlessly through sharing in the interests of each of their sons and daughters.
To dads who encourage and work with their kids, to understand the lessons that are hard – In school and in life.
For those men who figure out how to balance job and family and invest time being a dad – you are fulfilling the most important job of all.
Pandemic necessities have changed family culture. A year of togetherness or absence, of fear and loss. It’s taken its toll. Let the dads in your life know that you appreciate their struggle and the things they did, in all these months, to make things better.
My dad seemed to have trouble defining his roles as father and head of the house. He shifted gears a lot. The inconsistency led to blunders on both our parts. Communication was infrequent and stifled. But when we connected, it was special.
Did Dad Like Me?
I thought my dad didn’t like me much. My mom was always enthralled by my stories of what happened in school or what my friends were wearing or doing. My dad – well, he’d fall asleep while I prattled on about my day.
He would come home in work clothes dirtied from his labor. He was a welder and that was not white collar work. He would take a shower, have dinner and lay down on the couch and before I could talk to him, he’d be asleep. Seemed there was no time for me.
It was years before I realized, he napped because he was exhausted.
He did hard physical labor every day and his body needed rest, not the chattering of a nine year old consumed with her own world.
But when I did have his attention, it was heaven. I remember being with him on a fishing boat he had won in a raffle. Singing with him as he drove the blue Hudson to the mountains for family picnics in the summer.
Having him stand up for me when I was bullied.
I remember a tearful session where I accused him of never being satisfied with my accomplishments. An A minus was reproached. It could have been an A. He was shocked to hear that I felt unappreciated. He told me how he bragged about my accomplishments. Told friends and relatives how proud he was of me.
But Dad, you forgot to tell ME.
It all comes down to communication. Make room for it, dads. Phones down, voices up. Let’s talk about it. Happy Father’s Day.
Celebrating Father’s Day with a vignette from real life. Dads can talk the talk. This one walked the walk, with his young son at his side.
Dad Teaching by Example – #525
The 7 year old went up to his dad, worried and concerned. “Daddy, this is a lot of money, isn’t it?” he asked. He handed his dad a hundred dollar bill that he had just found on the street. He was worried that someone planned to use that “big dollar” to buy food and would now go hungry.
Dad advised him not to tell anyone about the find. He had a plan. He and his son went back to the cul-de-sac where the money was found, knocked on doors and asked if anyone was missing money. The child was advised not to mention how much money. His dad explained that knowing the amount of the money lost would help them identify the real owner.
At the third house, a rather frazzled woman came to the door, surrounded by four very young children. The little boy asked if she had lost any money.
“I hope you mean a hundred dollar bill,” she exclaimed. “I have been frantic looking for it. That was suppose to buy this week’s groceries.”
The money was returned and the boy even received a small reward for his honesty and his efforts to return the money.
But his biggest reward was the knowledge that his dad knew he had done what was right. He got a first-hand lesson in honor and integrity. He had already been taught what was right, and when the universe put him in a position to make a choice, he held tight to his principles.
Job well done – by both father and son.
Kids were asking hard questions while sheltered in place. Dads had a rare opportunity to give encouragement, hope and laughter. Here’s to the dads who created moments of heroism and love for their kids in this unique spring of 2020.