My father died before I was born, so a father role model was lacking throughout my life. I did, however, have the good sense when parenting became my niche to pick a proven good parent to raise my kids. I am forever grateful to my late husband for the parenting skills he exhibited and practiced in the raising of our family. He actually stopped and listened to the little complaints/ concerns of the children. He taught by example: good morals, faith and love.
But this Father’s Day I would like to pay tribute to my son, the product of the above man. It is a privilege of aging to be able to watch and assess the successes of one’s child. My son, father of two boys, apparently listened and paid more attention while growing up then it appeared while it was happening!
He, too, listens with a kind ear and responds in a nonjudgmental way. One example: The kids were in bed and the oldest one came downstairs crying that he thought something was in his room.
Dad said, “Do you want me to come up and check it out with a flashlight?”
Of course that was a great idea and up they went to disperse the monsters.
When my son came downstairs, I said how proud I was of the parent he had become.
My son stated: “I had a good teacher.”
My heart swelled as I burbled out thank you, and my son turned and said, “I didn’t mean you were the teacher, I meant Gene (Dad).”
I was both hurt and happy and not surprised as I have always recognized that Gene was the parent with the better parenting skills.
When I reminisce about raising a family I think of the demands of parenting: the coming home from a long day to kids who are dying to see you, the sick kid in the middle of the night, the problems at school. My little family was so fortunate to have a father in our lives who faced all the demands with love and caring.
This Father’s Day I express my love and pride for the passing down of parenting skills to the next and the next generation. I look with pride as my grandsons are raised in a nurturing environment that will produce men of compassion, kindness and love.