Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Post - Even if You're Not Related

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Happy Father's Day to all the DADS out there!


Happy Father's Day to Mr SeaSpray and to our older son! Mr SeaSpray and I are very proud of what a terrific DAD our son is with his three children. He is a definite ...DAD ..in every way ...and loves them so much. :)

Here is a link to an interesting article, "A Father's Love is One of the Greatest Influences on Personality Development"

Fathers and stepfathers, grandfathers, and uncles ...you are so important in the lives of the young children and adolescents you know. You are important during their formative years ...right into adult hood. (I loved my grandfather and uncles ...so very much. I never stopped learning from them and I wish I could still talk with them.) Even a male neighbor/friend ...a teacher ...men from all walks of life ...you can take a fatherless child under your protective, mentoring wing.

Do your children have some friends that don't have dads in their lives? Include them when you do family activities. You probably do since they are your child's friend. But, give them some fatherly attention. I was blessed to have my girlfriend's father, Uncle Charlie in my life. He was such a wonderful role model for me.

He was Iris' father. I've written about her before ...that from the time I was four and she was five ...when they came down to their summer house at the shore ...she and I were together practically every day ...all day until after dark. We were like two peas in a pod ...practically inseparable. Her parents included me in everything. I was always riding somewhere in the back seat of their Cadillac. Her Dad always drove a Cadillac for as long as I knew him. He even drove Mr SeaSpray and me to our wedding reception ...in his Cadillac. :)

For 11 summers, I was blessed to have his influence in my life almost every day , until I moved up here. He was always teaching, guiding and helping with something. And the rare times Iris and I would have a fight ...he'd diplomatically help resolve it ...usually ..in her favor. Ha ha! But, he was so good at it ...I'd surrender pretty easily.

Does anyone remember when the boardwalk arcades had these wooden crane machines that for a penny ...you could guide the crane over these little tiny plastic treasures you hoped it would pick up and it almost always picked the little toys up. (Today ...they usually drop most things) Anyway, after we got home one night we couldn't wait to go sit on her little wooden picnic table on their back porch to play with our new little toy treasures. (I wish they still had those machines :) It turned out that I had a little plastic blue fish and she had a pink one. We both liked the blue better. Blue was always my favorite color. She wanted it. I wouldn't give it up. A squabble ensued. But, Uncle Charlie came to the rescue. He diplomatically talked me into wanting the pink fish. Then...with the conflict resolved ...we happily resumed playing with our little toy charms. I don't think that was a good lesson for his daughter ...but I'm pretty sure ...I learned diplomacy from him over the years. He was a very patient man. He'd have to be to have put up with some of my crazy teenage shenanigans and daredevil stunts. He was so devoted to his daughter. I've never seen any father so committed as he was.

Last summer, while Iris was going through all the cancer tests and treatments, I was helping her ...every way I could and was with her as much as possible. I was floored when one day she said to me, "Patty ...no one has treated me as good as you do. You're like my FATHER!" I have to tell you ...that was the ultimate compliment ...because her father was amazing. And she said it to me twice last summer. I didn't expect it. I was doing what my heart told me to do. I am so glad I did.

Well ...I didn't intend to go in that direction. Or even talk about my friend's Dad. I could tell you so many good stories stories about him. I guess ...this makes my point that even if you are not related to a child ...you can still have a positive and lifelong influence on them. Or even if a child has a father ...sometimes they may not be the best influence on their own child. Mine would not have been had my mom stayed with him. So ...I would say to all the good men ...you never know who is watching you or in need of some fatherly guidance and support. Of course your own children are your number one priority ..but ...if you can ...make room for a few more kids every now and then.

And if you happen to be a man who has made mistakes with his children ...we all do in varying degrees. There are no perfect parents. It is never too late to do the right things ...the important things that make the difference between a loving dad and just a sperm donor.

And if you have had the blessing of having a fatherly role model in your life that you aren't related to ...if you haven't already ...give him/them a call today or as soon as you can ..to say "Thank You" for the positive ways he/they impacted your life. It's always a good feeling to know you've helped another person. He may be surprised ...but also happy to know how you feel and that he made a difference.

I am so glad that I often told Uncle Charlie how special he was to me while growing up. He would graciously say ..."Well ...THANK you-u-u!" and I think may've felt a bit awkward (like men can sometimes be when feelings are involved), but I could see he did appreciate it. :)
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I had no idea I would go off in this direction of writing. I was so blessed to have had my uncles and grandfather ...and even a dear marriage counselor when I was in my early thirties ...who also took me under his wing in a very special way. we talked about my past too and I feel that due to his excellent counseling ...I grew up in his office too as he also facilitated healing regarding my childhood abandonments. I realize now that he even parented me concerning current issues at the time.

Even though I did not always have the benefit of my father in my life ...I know that God put me on the hearts of the other special men that have been in my life at different times and for that ...for them ... I shall be eternally grateful.

My birthday is always around Father's day. It would've been neat to have a DAD that we could've celebrated our special days together sometimes. A barbecue is always nice in June. Men are often the grill masters and cookouts are always fun. :) But ...it just wasn't to be ...I guess. (I never thought about that until recent years) Anyway ...I wrote about my father in June 2008 that you can read HERE ...if you'd like to know about him. I think I said all I know about him in that post - not much.

"Anyone can be a father... but it tales a special person to be a DAD." ~unknown ~

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