Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Fathers in my life

First Father is my own Dad. I can't believe he has been dead for about 20 years. A young man from the Great Depression who went out to work to support his mother and brothers and sisters after his father died. He seemed so unreasonable when I was 15 and wanted to date a boy who was 21, or when he came out to the car when I had been sitting too long before coming in from a date. But I remember so many of our talks about world events and his strange mix of racism, conservatism but with a very liberal bent for unions and social programs. He wasn't a very vocal or demonstrative father but my sister and I never doubted that we were his world and he wasn't going to let anything bad happen to us if he could protect us.

I know my father-in-law was a wonderful father because he raised a wonderful man. But I know him best as a grandfather. He adored all six of his grandsons and even after his wife died and he was alone he would take one grandson at a time to spend the day. During that day he would take them anywhere they wanted to go and eat anywhere they wanted to eat. They were a "Prince" for the day. He was very generous with each one of them and they all adored him.

My husband I can't imagine how I knew when I was just 19 years old when we became engaged that he would make a good father to our children, but I KNEW and I was right. He was a wonderful father to 3 boys and now all three of the older grandsons adore him. It is pawpaw this and pawpaw that. He takes the time to shoot baskets or catch the ball with them or put together toys. If I walk into their house first, the first thing they say isn't, "hello Mimi" but "Where's Pawpaw."

Pawpaw and Will
Pawpaw and Will

Two of our sons who have children are good fathers but then they had a good example to follow.

Michael, our oldest son, has two boys, 9 and almost 6 years old. He is the "sports father." Taking them to college games, pro games and helping coach all the various little league sports they become involved in. He likes to talk to them at night when they should be going to sleep about their day and what they are doing. I've seen him take a son aside and talk through their fears so that they can move on to a new experience.

Mike and Jack
Michael and Jack

Douglas, our youngest son also has two boys, 5 and a 2 month old. He can make a game or putting together a train seem like so much fun. He is good at sitting back and figuring out where the kid is coming from and working with him on that level. He is enough of a kid himself that he can't resist getting Maxwell the newest piece of Thomas the train or Star Wars character. And he is also very good at just talking to his oldest boy and helping him learn about people and the world. The baby is a little young yet for conversation but he sure does hear his father's voice and feel his father's arms around him a lot.

Max and Dad
Douglas and Maxwell

Our middle son, Gary, doesn't have children but he is Uncle Gary to the four grandsons. He is important in the grandson's life because he plays with them and they know he will protect them. He is another example of what a Man is.

Uncle Gary and Will
Uncle Gary and Will

I'm so blessed to have these wonderful men in my life. I don't know how you can raise children without a father. So Thank you and Happy Father's day to all my "Dads."

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