I write for me in that I want to remember exactly how I feel at this moment, especially when I’m older.
I want that guy, who is probably dealing with the unimaginable task of raising high school teens, to remember what this guy, happily managing father of 2 awesome boys, holds dear. Without a doubt, the following thoughts come with heavy influence from my parents, friends, cousins, and the family of four I get to be a part of on a daily basis. These thoughts are basically what’s most important to me as a dad and husband, right now.
Please and thank you
There is something unquestionably important about these simple words. They are quickly uttered, and sometimes an afterthought more so than heartfelt, but I know in my bones that saying them is of the utmost importance. One thing that always made me proud growing up was getting good reports from my friends’ parents after sleepovers. ”Brad always said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and was a well behaved boy.” (Yeah, while you were awake at least.) I knew these words were important to my parents, so it was important to me to reflect as such when out and about. I did it, I did it well and I want my sons to do it well.
Family dinner time
Probably number 1 if I was forced to rank. My instinct here is to beat the drum about family dinners often being rushed and in front of the TV, or lament about the fact that families just live further away from each other these days and the concept of something like a big, Sunday dinner seems more like a chore than a simple tradition, but the reality is that most of us do the best we can as befitting of our lives and schedules. In our house, we eat dinner together every single night. Not often or sometimes. Every. Single. Night. Sometimes we eat out; sometimes joined by our parents and sometimes our friends. We talk, we lose our minds, we love every second of it. Obviously this tradition starts with — because we can, and I realize many families can’t, but like I said this is a selfish post. For my money, if we aren’t sitting down together as a family to eat, then scrap the whole damn thing.
For me this means taking responsibility for your actions and words. That’s the long and short of it. If you do it or say it, you own it. If I can’t do this and if I can’t teach my boys to do this, then it’s back to the drawing board.
My goal here is to always remember how important these three things are to me right now. I write this with the anticipation that there will be a time when the boys are out and about in the world, away from my watchful eyes, but hopefully not my persistent voice inside their heads. These are my core values, and while I can’t predict the future and know that they will always be so, for right now and with no end in sight, I’ll take all of the above.