Fatherly advice?

We were at church on Mother’s Day. Yes, the entire family.  Rarely does that happen anymore, considering work schedules and … life.  A young family was seated directly in front of us.  The youngest child – probably about 18 months old – caught my attention.  So damn cute. Of course, I thought of my children and how they were once that young.  It seemed that things were so much easier then.  Still, I would never go back.  Hell, I almost have two of my three out of the house.  Why on earth would I ever go back?

My main goal a a parent was to always be around.  Not in that hell-icopter sort of way.  But in an existence way.  So, if anything was ever needed, I was present. I am a huge home body which made this very easy.  I think just being accessible is the the most important part of parenting.  Well, that and listening.  Even when you are not part of the conversation, you can still hear what’s being said.

Another perk to being around is that I accommodate my children’s needs.  Within reason, of course.  If my 21 year old son asks me to make him a sandwich, I willingly comply.  Can he do it himself? Most definitely. Soon, very soon, he will be out of the house on his own for good. I will never say the words,  “I wish I didn’t make that sandwich.” My wife says I am doing a huge disservice to the children by doating too much.  I disagree.

To this day, I have never logged into their school accounts to check grades or progress reports. I don’t even know how to do it. Furthermore, once the kids were in Middle School, I never attended a Parent-Teacher Conference.  Each child knew I would go if requested.  And, if something was needed, I would be on it.  Immediately.

My second child (the hockey player)  is a Senior in High School.  She has had quite the tumultuous year. A fucking roller coaster is probably a better description. Still, it was all good – planned to perfection by me.  She was in Canada for hockey training, hoping that would facilitate better college opportunities.  The world of collegiate hockey is a beast all its own, let me tell you. Often, she would call for advice, especially when it came time to choosing a college to attend. I offered my opinion, weighing the pro/con factor, still remaining … neutral. I did not want to be cliche either, offering false words of supposed wisdom that are a total disservice to the recipient. Besides, how could I ever make that decision? It’s all her.  And, it should be.  I was there for every loop of that fucking roller coaster, though.  She exited the ride stronger – I think. Me, I drank more.  Just kidding?!

Where is all this going? No fucking clue.  I don’t have all of the answers.  Hell, the answers I do provide are often ill-received.  Fortunately, things … work out.  One thing for certain – there will always be another carnival attraction.  Unfortunately, I may not always be tall enough to ride.

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