It is great to be honored by ones children.
Sunday was father’s day my two daughters were out of town but my son came by to see me. The conversation we had wound around through many subjects and past a few monuments. Along the trail we came to the monument of his minor fathers, the men who impacted him in his childhood. How grateful I am for these wonderful men.
The many hours he spent at different friend’s houses resulted in many hours of observing or at times direct interactions with these men. Some were good bad examples but most were good good examples. They filled in many holes and blank spots I either was incapable of teaching or just missed. Some examples were reinforcements of lessons I hoped to impart - faithfulness, loyalty, respect of women, trustworthiness, honesty, hard work, and compassion.
He talked about recently attending the celebration of one man’s 35th wedding anniversary and of the toast he gave to the man and his wife for being a good example of a good marriage. My son told me of times he notice J and L would disappear on a walk and he would see them returning back down the road holding hands, smiling and talking.
I can think back to a time a father told me about working alongside his son and my son doing yard work for many hours and the compliment he gave my son for being a good worker. But, I knew the real gift had been the two young boys doing hard work alongside the man and that day was a step or two closer toward their own manhood. You see I already knew about the many hours of work because I saw the glow on my son’s young face beaming with pride as he earlier had recounted the affirming words he had been given by the father for his hard work.
Another father was a very good business man and understood investments. Another man treated his wife badly and my son saw the pain and the shame. Another man was a hard worker but could also play. Most of the men were good examples of living strong moral lives and being men of high character. I am thankful that my son had other men who input into him what real manhood looked like.
He has these images and impressions of what manhood looks like and now I am so proud of the man he is becoming - a man of high character.
So, to the minor fathers of my son – thank you! You probably do not know you we being watched.