Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heir to my empire

If you read yesterdays Quote... you're somewhat aware that I have a reason for sharing such an interesting thought about children and their inheritance. As I mentioned, my son, Bob left a comment to one of my older posts the other day - my post about our excursion to the Vertical Fest. I don't know if Bob hadn't read that post before, or maybe he just looked at the pictures, but his comment seems to indicate that something inside of him was recently stirred by what I wrote. Which is only reasonable since I speak so highly of my son in that post - just because he's such a cool kid, and Vertical Fest was one of those breakthrough experiences for both of us. But in light of what Bob had to say in his comment I feel as if I should share a few more thoughts about my son and how we feel about each other.

Bob is a great motivator for me. I have always tried to lead by example, so he has always motivated me to be the best example of what a man ought to be. If I want him to grow up to be the best man he can be, then I must set the example for him. I don't expect him to be a man just like me, but he will have learned to be his own man because of how I live my life. Apparently, he agrees, and has learned how to be his own person, standing on his own talents and abilities, doing those things which give him a sense of purpose and calling in his own life. How can I not be proud of that (even when it gets him into a little bit of trouble at school)? And that's why I encourage him to do his own thing whenever the chance arises. And if he chooses to become a tattoo artist, then I will support him to the best of my own abilities and help however I can - even though there are plenty of others who would tell him that he needs something more sensible as a career. I tend to believe that he has chosen something that will satisfy him more than any sensible job. And this urges me on to try new things and to possibly pursue other career choices for myself in the not too distant future. Something that is more inline with what I believe my gifts and calling are. How many parents can say that their kids inspire them in such a way? And all because I have been able to inspire him to be his own person.
I also like to think I've made myself available to him for anything he might need or seek to find an answer to, even when I don't have the answer - or the best answer. I can tell that he has found this to be true. I can tell by the way we can talk about anything. And he does more than "respect the hell out of" me, because he never seems to let me down when I give him advice that he knows is going to cause him some discomfort. He listens. He acts according to his own convictions. The same convictions I've been trying to instill into him since the day he was born. I know that he does not believe the exact same things I do. And that's OK. We agree on the main things, and I have seen his spiritual gifts in action, so I know God is willing to use him - and he must be willing to let God use him or he wouldn't have the gifts he has. And I can say there is nothing more satisfying for me, as a father, and a Christian, than to know that my 17 year old son is using his spiritual gifts the way God intends him to. What more could I ask?
It would be my desire that all men have such solid relationships with their sons. I have to admit that for a few years I was worried how things might turn out for us. The divorce took a serious toll on both of us. But I thank God for the Summer that we just came through. I think Bob and I bonded in ways that made us just as much friends, and brothers, as we are father and son. It's the kind of relationship that can weather any tempest that life - or even satan himself - could ever throw at us. And I rejoice in that truth, thanking God for all He has enabled us to do together. And I know this is only the first step on a journey that will last for the rest of our lives.

Now, before anyone gets all upset about how much I go on about my son, but never mentioned my daughter. I am very proud of my daughter, too. She is still my little girl. When I look at her, I still see the little girl who wanted to make me breakfast at her little kitchen playset every morning. I still see the little ballerina telling (yelling at) her dance instructor "I'm not a redhead! I'm a strawberry blond!" I love her dearly and, in spite of the fact that I wish her situation were somewhat different, I must say that she is handling it all very admirably. Unlike some young women who might find themselves in her predicament, she has things pretty well under control. And it has lead her to re-evaluate her life and start planning for some changes after the baby is born. One of which will be continuing her education. And like my son, I will support her to the best of my abilities in any way I can with whatever decision she makes. If that means babysitting my grandson while she goes to school in the evenings, then I will be the best grandfather that I possibly can be. I mean, look how my son has turned out...

What more can I say? God has truly blessed me with great kids! I know that they're turning out OK.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad, i honestly don't know what to say. i could almost cry. i am at a lose for words, except, i believe everything you said was true about the summer. your the best father i could ever hope for, and your always there for me no matter what, and i know it.

6:14 PM  
Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

This whole post (and comment) gave me a wonderfully warm feeling. You and both of your kids are blessed, in that you have each other.
I now wish that I had stayed around at the school and met Bob when we met. Maybe I'll have another chance.
Don't ever forget how fortunate you are. Parenting is the hardest AND most rewarding experience a human being can experience. I know that only too well. Hugs for all of you (and your Mom- I think she's most likely been a really strong example and wonderful role model in your family.)

8:20 PM  
Blogger Jeff A said...

Alright, when we get together for pizza, bring Batman along. I envy your relationship with your son. Mine has not turned out very well. I know that it is mostly due to failings on my part. We are slowly healing our relationship but I do wish we could heal it faster, there is so much I want to share with him and you never know when God is going to call us home!

11:30 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

You're the best son I could ever hope for (except for the spelling... Just kidding). I know it's been kinda weird at times, but we've done OK together. I wouldn't trade any of it in for the world.
I'll bet you were fighting back tears, too.
I'm sure you'll get the opportunity to meet Bob soon enough. We'll have to coordinate something via e-mails. Our moms should meet too.
Yes, both of my parents were excellent examples for me and my brother. I can tell by how Bob has noticed it.
Don't worry about Batman showing up for pizza. He'll be there whether he's invited or not.
I don't know what your son is like, or how much healing the two of you need. But I can tell you that jumping into the mosh pit with Bob was one of the best things I've ever done.
Find something you can do with your son that will create that sort of bond. No matter what it is. Find common ground to stand on with him before it's too late.
My dad and I went through some rough times with each other too. But we found common ground on, of all things, our political positions and conservative talk radio. Funny how that worked out. I hope you and your son can work things out.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous faith said...

"Now, before anyone gets all upset about how much I go on about my son, but never mentioned my daughter. I am very proud of my daughter, too."

You had me in mind when you typed this huh? I was reading thinking "And what about Aliesha?" hehe. Just because I'm a daddy's girl, it crossed my mind. I must have missed something, didn't know she had a baby on the way, but Congrats on that soon to be granddad!! It might be earlier in life then you expected, but babies have a way of lighting up lives! Anyways, sorry I'm late on everything, I really don't try to be, it's just so busy around here :( Well, I'll ttyl!! And I'll try not to be such a stranger!

10:30 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

Actually, I mentioned Aliesha because I know everybody would've asked about her. You may well be the only one who wasn't aware of her being pregnant, but you're not the only one who asks how she's doing. Besides, she's still my little girl.
Yes, babies do have a way of making life a bit brighter. I've already had two, myself...
I'm looking forward to being a grandfather. My dad was OK at it. I've seen my brother do it, and he seems to be pretty good at it. And if I can raise a son like Bob, I'm sure I'll do OK with a grandson.
I know you've got a lot going on. No need to apologize for any delays.

1:59 PM  

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