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A Word about Fatherhood

A Word about Fatherhood

It’s true, Father’s Day can be a real “mixed bag” of memories, emotions and thoughts.  This one day means a lot of different things to a lot of people.

Sometimes the memories are warm, inspiring and filled with gratitude.

Sometimes they are painful.  Sometimes, extremely painful.

For those of us who are dads, even when our children are grown and on their own (Okay, I realize that just because they are grown does not mean they are on their own!), we know what an awesome responsibility, as well as an amazing privilege it is to be a dad.

Some men take that responsibility very seriously.  Others, not so much.

You may have heard that there are three stages of being a father:

1. “My dad can whip your dad!”

For many of us, there is a time in our lives when our dad can do no wrong, he can solve every problem, answer every question and “leap tall buildings in a single bound!”  (Look it up.)

2.  “My old man doesn’t know anything!”

Often, children go through a stage in which we think we know pretty much everything.  In fact, we don’t know how much we don’t know!  But during this stage, our dads are so “clueless” that we often throw up our hands in frustration and can’t believe we are actually related to this person and that he is actually trying to guide us in how to live our lives and make our decisions!

3.  “My father used to say . . .”

If we live long enough and mature accordingly, we will probably come to a point where we recognize, respect and appreciate the role our father has played in our lives.  It is at this point that we often regret our younger, immature disrespect.  It is also a point at which we realize we could have spent more time with him and gleaned much more from his wisdom.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to 21 I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” (This quote is often erroneously attributed to Mark Twain.  Now, our best guess is “Arthur Unknown.”)

So, to you who are fathers and to you who have had fathers who have given you so much, I wish you a Happy (Belated) Father’s Day!

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