So here we are again, thankfully celebrating another Father’s Day.
My dad passed away over 35 years ago and I still miss him.
He was my best friend.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!
Today though I want to share a few thoughts about being a father to our own children, Lauren, and Bryan.
For me, being a father meant, with a child, I had I had true responsibilities starting around age 28.
In all honesty, and thankfully, it certainly was a team effort. (and I was definitely the junior partner much of the time)
It was my wife Boni and my responsibility to raise Bryan and Lauren, keep them fed and sheltered, and give them the best moral guidance we could.
It was our responsibility to share our religion with them but not to force it on them. (eventually)
It was our responsibility to provide them the best education we could and encourage them to take advantage of it, even math. 😉
It was our responsibility to point them to, and allow them to experience a wide variety of sports and arts so they could figure out which ones they liked, which ones the were good at, which ones they sucked at, and the fun they could have with new friends in choirs, theater groups, or sports teams.
It was our responsibility to share our love of singing and music with them, initially with the help of Sharon, Lois and Bram, and Raffi.
And eventually including Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, The Beatles, CCR, CSNY, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Temptations, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and Hall and Oates.
It was our responsibility to share books with them, everything from Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny, to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
It was our responsibility to teach them that “The RIght Stuff” was the greatest movie ever made, and Gordo Cooper was the greatest pilot they ever saw! (OK, that was more my responsibility, than Boni’s)
It was our responsibility to show them that hugging and laughing are a lot more fun than arguing, and it’s a lot better to say I’m sorry than to go to bed, mad at someone.
It was our responsibility to allow them be friends with and comfortable with people of many races, from different countries, and of different religious beliefs.
It was our responsibility to allow them to see distant lands, to understand that each country is unique, and although people may live differently in different lands, some maybe not as privileged as us, some more privileged, they are people none the less, and respect should be based on how people act, more than where they are from or how wealthy or poor they are.
It was our responsibility to allow them to experience as many things as possible as they grew up.
It was really our responsibility to guide them when they were young so they could take over and guide themselves as they grew up, and guide their own children going forward.
There were definitely things we missed teaching, and probably should have, but like all parents, we were learning on the fly too.
But above all, our responsibilities were to share the joys, give a nudge when needed, encourage and applaud the achievements, and help heal or comfort their wounds or hardships when those inevitably happened along the way.
These responsibilities certainly weren’t onerous, in fact, more than just responsibilities, they were our once in a lifetime, privilege.
They were pure joy.
I definitely wish I could do it all again. It all happened so fast.
They were all done with love, as we watched our children grow into the fine adults they are today.
Bryan and Lauren are the biggest joy, privilege and achievements of our lives.
I am a happy and grateful father today.
I thank my wife Boni and son Bryan, and daughter Lauren, with all my love.