Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about relationships lately, specifically family relationships. Now that my second child is due to be born this year I find my family in a state of expansion. I think about the day to day activities of my son, and look forward to similar experiences with my second son. I have wondered how many of the things my son does are also things I did at his age. Did I throw the same tantrums? Did I do the same cute things? Was I so full of unquestioning love? From what I gather from my parents there are indeed similarities.

As I look at my son through a father's eyes, I think back to my own relationship with my dad. I remember being so proud to be his son. I remember riding in the child seat attached to his bicycle. I remember being held on his shoulders from time to time. I remember him being capable of solving any problem that was thrown at him, whether mechanical, spiritual, automotive, or technical. I remember the love he had/has for my mother and my brother and sisters and myself. I wonder if my son will remember the same things about me.

I remember my dad's old guitar quite well. So well in fact that it now sits in my own home. I wonder how he had the time to play music at all with five children running around. My one son is more than a handful sometimes.

I was thinking about my transition from son to father the other day, especially with Father's Day around the corner. I wondered what it felt like for my dad when I grew up. One day he has a house full of children and the next we are all grown. How does he see me now? Does he still see the same little boy that I see everyday when I look at my own son? What must it be like to not have that same connection?

This is a question I know I will have the answer to all too soon. My little boy is growing up. He is only two right now, but these two years have gone by so quickly. I know my time with him is short. I hope to be able to teach him the things my dad taught me. I hope to teach him to be a man after his grandfather's heart - a man after his great-grandfather's heart. A man with a heart constantly reaching out to God for strength, guidance, and sustenance.

What a privilege it is to be a father - a daddy. What an amazing opportunity and responsibility. It is an incredible thing to teach a young boy the things he needs to know. I hope that I can be the example he needs me to be. I hope he will choose to learn from me the things I want him to know. It is a hard thing to be at the mercy of one's own child. I want so many good things for him, yet I know that he has to reach out and take these good things himself. He has just as much power to reject the good things I want for him. This is a terrifying prospect sometimes.

I know the day is coming when I have to trust my son(s) to the same (if not greater) extent that I expect my own dad to trust me. I know that we will not always see things eye to eye. I certainly have disagreements with my dad, and I am sure he had disagreements with his dad. I do hope that the relationship I have with my own dad will prove to be a framework for the relationship with my children.

I get to spend part of this Father's Day weekend with my dad, grandpa, and uncle. We are playing in a golf tournament on Saturday. This should be fun. We get to play at the Country Club in Malibu. I wish my dad's father was still around to join us. I think of him often as I muse about fatherhood.

I am proud of the legacy my grandfather passed on to me, both directly and indirectly. I hope my sons continue to improve upon the legacy and pass it on to their sons (and daughters if they have them). I am grateful to be a son to a wonderful father. I am grateful to be a father to my son and my as-yet unborn son. I have been truly blessed.


Kati said...

you were right..... :)

Tim said...

Nice blog J...

Vixen said...

Very well said. Have a wonderful Father's Day weekend. Sounds like a good time.