A lot of fathers in the US are waking up today to the smell of breakfast: Pancakes, sausage, eggs, Fruity Pebbles and bacon. (Because NOTHING says Happy Father’s Day like bacon! Really, any holiday can start with bacon and be ok.) In addition to breakfast, there will be other gifts given: Ties, wallets, cards and bacon. (See, bacon is so versatile that it can be a meal AND a gift!) There will be many things going on today in the name of Fatherhood. But my challenge takes a different angle. It does a 180 (degrees) on the tradition on Father’s Day. It does a little switch-a-roo on things. (If you are a father you should be used to doing things like this. Switch-a-roo is your specialty! Just ask the mothers. They have been trying to get you to do things the right way for years. And in defense of fathers… we don’t do things the WRONG way. We just do them OUR way.)
Fathers… Take some time today to focus not on the things you are receiving for being a father but on the things are you are “giving” because you are a father. Nothing has been more challenging for me than Fatherhood. (Although, being a Cowboys and a Titans fan has had its share of challenging moments over the last decade or so.) But because of that challenge Fatherhood presents it has helped me grow as a person. I’m supposed to help my little ones grow into adults but they are the one who are helping me do the same. Fatherhood is like most things in life. The more you put into it the more you get out of it. It’s like the old computer science statement: GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). And for that, I want to make sure this Father’s Day I remember to give them gifts to help them grow as well.
Fathers… Make sure your kids start out in a better position than you did. I have no complaints about my childhood. (Well, not many. I’m still mad that a 2nd cousin of mine broke my Optimus Prime Transformer and her mom (my 1st cousin) NEVER paid for it. But other than that, I’m good!) My childhood was great! We didn’t start out with a lot but we were in a much better spot when I moved out on my own. And I think that’s how a family grows from generation to generation. We, fathers, need to make sure we do what it takes to make sure our kids start out in a better position in life than we did. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I have been working a lot to make sure my children start the race of life with a little bit of a head start.
Fathers… teach your sons to how to be men. Now, that in itself is not MY challenge. I’m the father to 3 girls. And you would think that lets me off the hook completely for this challenge but you would be mistaken. My challenge is not to teach my daughters to be men but I can teach them how a man is supposed to be. I challenge myself to treat not on only them but also their mother with respect. I don’t want there to be any confusion with my girls when it comes to the proper way they should be treated. I don’t want them to ever settle for anything less than what they deserve. And it’s my job to give them an idea of what that looks like. So when I tell the fathers to teach their sons how to be men, I do it for their own good. If they ever want their sons to have a chance with some beautiful, funny and intelligent women (like my daughters) they will need to know how to treat a lady. I may not intimidate your son like in the movies when he comes over but I have NO problem with raising the bar so high that he’s gonna need MY help just to get over it! (This paragraph is kind of funny to me since my daughters aren’t dating until they are in their 30s.)
So, whether you are an average Que (like me) or a celebrity like Kevin Bacon (Amazing!!!! A food. A Gift. A name. Bacon is just grand!), this challenge is something you should take a few moments to really think about. We all have our way to celebrate this special day. But today is the day we get to flip the script just because we are fathers! (Kinda gives you a sense of power you don’t get the other 364 days of the year, doesn’t it?)
(Also, thanks to my kids! Without you I wouldn't be the father I am today.)
(I think that's how it works, right?)