Father’s Day musings: 2020 edition

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Familia Martinez

Another Father’s Day is here and my thoughts turn to my experiences as a father. I like to think I’m better at it than when I first started, but regrets over the many mistakes I’ve made as a father get in the way of embracing that concept.

It’s become a Father’s Day tradition over the past couple of years to jot down some insights and lessons I’ve learned as a father of four. Here’s this year’s list.

More insights, understandings, recollections, and yet-to-be-answered questions I’ve gathered along the way since becoming a father on August 1, 1991—and the nine months prior to that.

  • Considering the trouble and grief I caused my parents in my youth, I wonder how this qualified me to have such good kids.
  • Am I alone in sometimes feeling sad that my kids aren’t little anymore?
  • How is it that tiny humans who relied on me and their mother for so much when they were little have become stronger and more capable than either of us?
  • In my opinion, no young man, however capable and strong he is, will ever be good enough for my little girl. Nevertheless, I trust her too much to think that she’ll choose someone who isn’t good enough for her.
  • My wife gave birth to only one daughter, yet our family benefits from the influence of three. Our married sons chose well—as will our unmarried son.
  • It would be easy to judge my father for his bad choices, but I’m too aware of my own to let his decisions get in the way of my love and gratitude for the influence he had on my life.
  • Without being aware of it, our grandson can, without fail, reverse a sour mood with just  a smile.
  • When one of our offspring is sick or struggling, I feel as if it was me going through the experience..
  • One of the best things I can do as a grandfather is to refrain from offering unsolicited parenting advice.
  • It’s okay if our kids don’t get the details of their youthful experiences with me quite right. I’m happy they associate good times with their youthful experiences with me in the first place.
  • There were times in my youth when men other than my dad had a fatherly influence on my life, usually through church activities. Since becoming a father, I’ve come to appreciate the fatherly influences of these good men.
  • To hear, “I love you, Dad,” from a recovering teenager who loathed the sight of me more than a decade ago is enough to melt this old man’s heart.
  • Administering church ordinances with a son on a weekly basis over the past three months is something I will cherish forever.
  • While watching a son finish his college degree’s music recital recently, I felt a profound appreciation for the music he’s brought into our home and lives over the years.
  • A mother’s prayer for her children is still one of the most beautiful things I hear on a regular basis.

May your fathering/mothering adventures bring you as much joy and enlightenment as mine have brought to me. Happy Father’s Day!

2 thoughts on “Father’s Day musings: 2020 edition

  1. So beautifully written and thank you for the insights. I love the part where you say that to you, no man will ever be good enough for your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

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