A son’s first hero.
A daughter’s first love.
Every morning as I get their breakfasts ready I am keenly aware of the awesome responsibility laid on me; a responsibility that will not be discharged until they have left the nest, able to stand on their own.
And so much more.
Yesterday I made my daughter clean her room after her play date. Part of the responsibility after the fun of such an event is to deal with the aftermath. She didn’t enjoy that, but teaching responsibility is part of my duty.
Yesterday I made my son cry after telling him to not doing something; not because I enjoy doing that, but because he needs to understand that to think before he acts is one of the hallmarks of a human being – as opposed to being an animal that just does.
My job is not to be their friend; my job is to love, protect, and prepare them for when they are adults. And yes, I relish their love, and kisses, and “I love you Daddy!”s… but that’s icing on the cake. Having them grow up into mature adults, good and observant Jews, staunch American patriots, educated and ready to enter the world and stand on their own, and in control of themselves and their emotions.
Then… I will have fulfilled my duty as a Dad. Then, I hope to be their friend.
I have a mug:
A son’s first hero. A daughter’s first love.
To all the fathers out there, thank you. May G-d grant you – and I – are worthy of that admiration and love.
“One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much I had in my bank
Nor what my clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school I attended,
What kind of typewriter I used,
How large or small my church,
But the world may be …
a little better because…
I was important in the life of a child.”
By Forest Whitcraft
And to my own father: I hope you see how I’m doing and, while shaking your head at all the mistakes I’m making, I hope you’re also proud. I miss you.