Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Father Son Story

After writing on fatherhood last week, I was delighted to come across a blog post by Noah Moore with a wonderful father/ son running story.  They wanted to be the first father & son to run over the newly renovated Ben Sawyer Bridge.  I quote:

"The bridge is not that big, but it is special.  It is an icon of the Low Country (anyone who has seen pictures of Charleston during Hugo will recognize it as the bridge that was turned on its side).

It felt awesome being there with my son, knowing that we were the first father and son to ever cross that span.  As we turned to go back over the bridge, my son looked at me and said, "You are the best dad in the whole world!".  It was one of those moments that can not be scripted, can not be artificially constructed, there was pure joy and excitement in his voice.  This was an adventure."

Mind you, their first attempt to cross that bridge was after 10 PM the night before, when the bridge was supposed to open.  When it got too late and the bridge did not open, they came back the next morning.  I love this story not only because it involves running, but because a dad and his son are on a mission together.  It reminds me of adventures I had with my Dad when I was a little girl, such as skiing down a new, untried trail or hiking in the woods to see a beaver dam.  

Parents, don't worry if you can't afford to take your kids to Disney World (or Disney Land ... I am living on both coasts right now).  It is the little adventures that are important.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Blessing of a Father

Last week at John Paul the Great Catholic University where I am studying full time, I witnessed a most beautiful thing.  One of my professors, Michael Barber, was erasing the board when his wife and two children arrived.  The oldest, Michael Jr., is about one and a half.  As soon as he saw his dad from across the room, he ran and jumped into his arms, and there were squeals of laughter as his dad tossed him around a bit.  It was a scene very familiar to families with young children.  To me, it was poignant for another reason.

At St. Charles Children's Home, many of the children do not have dads in the picture.  If there is a father in their lives, he may be a frightening figure. However, in many cases, he is just not there.  I have parented so many children at the Home who have no idea what it is like to have a loving father!  I have heard a phrase used to describe this phenomenon:  the "fatherless generation."  Actually we seem to be on our second fatherless generation now... At the Children's Home we have many male volunteers who serve as role models and father figures to our kids.  This helps, because the Sisters can do many things for these children, but we can't be fathers!

For any Dad who may be reading, please know how important you are!  Even when times are difficult and you may get discouraged, you are an anchor to your children.  Without you, there would be a void in your children's lives that is difficult to repair.