Over this past weekend, I drove our 19-year-old son back to college where he began the second semester of his freshman year yesterday. Our 17-year-old daughter accompanied us and proved to be a terrific co-pilot during the 4 hour drive back home.
My wife is away until January 16th, so last night my daughter fixed our dinner and did her best to reassure me that we would survive until her mother and brother return home. The last thing that I did before going to sleep last night was to help her braid her hair, as she is in the midst of the transition to “going natural.” I learned to braid in the 70’s, as a necessary skill to maintain my own “fro.”
I teared up Sunday as I hugged our son outside of his dorm before getting in the car to ride home. I began to tear up again this morning as I left the house, knowing that my daughter was about to leave right after me and drive herself to school. Our children are growing up before my and their mother’s eyes, faster than I could have ever dreamed.
These last few days have caused me to briefly reflect on my own biological father, who abandoned me and left my mother when I was 4. As I reap the countless and tremendous rewards of involved, loving, consistent fatherhood, I actually feel sadness and pity for the man who abandoned me and my older sister.
Most assuredly, there is no greater joy in life than parenting, especially when you can honestly say you are trying your very best. So, if you are an active and involved father, keep the faith and stay the course. If you aren’t, start the process today of reunification. There is no greater gift that you can give your child, or frankly, yourself, than responsible and loving fatherhood.
Read, learn, and share…Have a Family Meeting!