Looking Out My Back Window #309

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Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Hey there! C’mon in – have a seat. Move that plant if you have to… Today, well… today is Father’s Day. Can’t help but think about my dad today, who passed in 1981. I was 22. He would have been 71 in December of that year had he made it (died in November). It gets harder and harder to remember exactly what and who he was with every passing year. I really loved him and looked up to him a lot. Hard worker. Good sense of humor. Those are the first two things that come to mind today as I think of him. And this day being what it is, it also has me thinking about my own journey into step-fatherdom and grandfatherdom as well. Because I never really wanted kids. I had my own issues to deal with when I was younger, like alcohol and drugs. And once I got through that, well… I never really wanted the responsibility I guess. Or the poopy diapers. Or the tantrums. Or the sticky hands all over everything… Or the cheese sandwich in the VCR… you get the point. But life had a different idea for me. God had a different path for me. And sometimes it’s best to let life guide you to the places you’d never go on your own. Which is how I always try to do things. I’m going to break one of the “rules” for these posts today, because what’s on my mind first and foremost right now is this: what makes a man a good father/grandfather? So instead of one long paragraph today, like I’ve done weekly for six years now, I’m going to post a list. I don’t think I’m in any way an expert here. Just my opinions. I’d love to get your thoughts as well, and I hope to live up to everything below with my own family:

1 – LOVE. #1 on almost any list for me is love. I never doubted my father’s love for me. Your kids, your grandkids, your family should never doubt your love for them. My dad was born in 1910, so I don’t think his generation was as great at expressing love as we’ve become these days, but it didn’t matter. I knew it instinctively. A great father loves his family, and they know it.

2 – HONESTY/INTEGRITY. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be a man of honor. Your word is your bond. Handshake deals are solid, and everyone knows that when they’re dealing with you – but especially with your family. Who looks up to any man who isn’t a person of integrity? Not me.

3 – HUMOR. Sometimes I think the power of having fun is severely underrated. Hanging out with dad and just having a laugh or two? That’s priceless. I can’t do it anymore with my own dad, but the moments like these that I get with my own family are always the moments we seem to remember most fondly. All the people I look up to as fathers and family men have this trait. A great sense of humor.

4 – COMPASSION. Life isn’t always rosy. Will your family be comfortable coming to you when they need help? When they start questioning the decisions they’ve made? And if they do, will you listen and guide them without judgement? Be the person that’s #1 on the list when trouble befalls a family member. Make sure they know they can come to you with any problem they’re facing.

5 – SET AN EXAMPLE. LIVE A LIFE WORTH IMITATING. What I’m talking about here isn’t necessarily your profession at all, but how you live. How do you treat people? How do you handle yourself when you’re angry? What kind of vibe do others feel when they’re with you? Are you open and welcoming? Or are you condescending and rude? Little eyes see everything you do. Let them see a person who treats everyone with love and respect whenever possible. Because the day is coming you’re going to see your actions reflected in them, if you aren’t already.

I could probably keep going, but the five things above seem to cover it pretty well. Happy Father’s Day to all of you. I hope you have a great relationship with whoever you look up to as your father. Sometimes the best dads aren’t always biological. And specifically for the dads out there – be relentless on the dad jokes today. Gotta make sure the kids have the proper “eye roll and sigh” form, ya know. It’s our duty