Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fathers and Sons: Part 1

My dad was so excited to have a son. Someone he could share his love of sports with, to coach and to play games with. Someone to share an interests. He wanted to raise a boy to become a man.

Like many men, my dad is a fan of high action movies. The explosions, the intrigue, all manly and fun. He was excited when my brother became old enough to enjoy some of these things with him. They would watch James Bond movies together then talk about the cool things that happened, their favorite parts.

One day, while working in the yard. My brother Sean, who was still just a kid at the time, was contemplating the awesomeness that is James Bond. He turned to my dad, and with all the wisdom of a child, made a comment about how, James Bond didn't really make the best life decisions (smoking, drinking, women...etc.) In that moment. My dad realized that while James Bond is THE Man, he didn't want his son to look up to him as a role model. He didn't want his son to grow up, thinking that the decisions James Bond made were right because James was "cool." My dad decided to get rid of his James Bond movie collection. Now, it was a bold move, perhaps one that most people would make. He could have just stopped watching them, or stopped sharing them with his kid, but my dad wanted the house to be free of negative influences that had the potential of directing my brother.

Sean recognized from an early age that my dad treated him differently than his sisters. He was the one who would get yelled at if he ever physically hurt us because "you NEVER hit girls, you NEVER treat women with disrespect." He didn't understand why he wasn't allowed to cry over something, when I would cry over the same thing. He was always expected to work harder and sacrifice more. As girls, we never got off easy, but my dad was always on top of my brother, making sure he was developing into the man he was supposed to be.

A few months ago, Sean talked to my dad about this. He thanked him for the firm, but loving way he raised him. He thanked him for pushing him to be a hard worker, devoted, and respectful. Sean is grateful for the solid foundation that his father provided him.

M. Russell Ballard says "Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them."

Be grateful for the men in your life who raise the men in your life.

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