These are words spoken from a son that is not yet a father. They are mere speculations of what the truth may be. They come from what I have lived and seen, from what I have been taught explicitly and implicitly. These words come from the reality I have lived.
Fathering a son seems to be a difficult task.
From the moment his child is born, a father must worry for the example he displays in addition to caring for his progeny. In other words, he must be wary of two different beings now. Two very distinct lives. How can a man ever hope to bare this weight? How can he keep himself and his child afloat in the maelstrom of life?
“For my father, this was simpler than you would think. He had always considered the lives surrounding him. He had always carried the weight of others drowning beside him. He had already built the strength needed to father a child.”
Inadvertently, your son will want to make you proud. He will crave for your attention and your approval. Ever seeking to inspire you, hoping to recreate the first smile you ever gave him; a smile sparked from the pride of creating life. How can a son ever measure up to such a feat?
“I am not proud to admit that I spent my entire childhood dedicated to this hunt. An eternal quest to please my father. To make him smile. To make him proud. He never knew, but he might have suspected it.
All my efforts and achievements were dedicated to him, yet all my failures were my own.”
A father will see his son grow. He will see his son live through experiences he has already faced. He will want to warn him of these dangers. But there comes a time when a child does not listen to his parents. A period in which the teenager thinks he is smarter and wiser than he actually is. During this phase, a father can only hope that he has prepared his son well enough to make his own choices.
“Teenage years are a dreadful period, for the child as well as for the father. Happily, I was a calm kid. My father had shown me that it was pointless to speak loudly to get my point across. He had taught me to pick my battles wisely for others might not be ready to listen. I treaded with caution and selected my friends wisely. I was distant but still I followed a good path.”
A father will see his son rise and fall, many times. What action should he take then? What will make him a good father?
Is it to prevent his child from failing? To prevent his sorrow? If so, how will his son ever learn? Our greatest lessons are taught from our own mistakes. Mistakes we never wish to recreate.
Is the solution to drive his ambitions then? Push him to achieve greatness? What happens then if he does not succeed? When he tries to reach for the stars thinking anything is within his grasp. How can it not be if his father tells him so? He falls, the stars too far from his reach. If it was possible, then why couldn’t he touch them? He thinks: “Does the problem lie within myself? Am I the only one that cannot achieve greatness? What will my father think of me?”
What is a father to do? There are benefits and drawbacks to both these methods. An exceptional father will know when to shelter his son, when to drive his ambitions and when to catch him when he falls.
“It might seem a complicated task, but my father had already mastered it. He had found the perfect amalgam of encouragement and support. He lurked in the shadows, praised me lightly, guided me gently, held me softly. I made my own path, but I always knew that if I needed his help he would be there. That if I ever fell, he would catch me. He would do all those things without any judgment. He knew that it was the best way for me to learn. He knew mistakes were an important part of growing up. He knew the price of wisdom. “
Wisdom is a hard trait to describe and it is not easily taught. It may appear in various ways. However, it is up to the beholder to acknowledge its existence. Therefore, it is up to the father to open his son’s eyes.
A child will mimic without understanding. As a father, you must show him how to think before copying. You must teach him how to judge right from wrong by himself. As a rule, you must always display wisdom to infer wisdom.
“I consider my father to be a wise man. He is not perfect forto strive for perfection is a fool’s quest. However, to always improve upon yourself is a sign of wisdom and courage. His wisdom his displayed in the fact that he knows that he is flawed. It is shown every time he tries to better himself. I have seen my father fail and accept defeat. I have seen him rise up to new challenges, fearful obstacles. But I have never seen my father give up. He prides himself in his failures as well as his accomplishments.
He is a true inspiration to behold.”
Most of us know how to love endlessly, but it takes more than endless love to father a son. Too much love and a child may grow to be dependant. Too little and he will be resentful. How then do you manage the amount of love you give? How can you even control love?
Unfortunately, here lies the true challenge of fatherhood. It dwells in the intricacies of love. It resides in the mystery of wisdom and culture… Abiding to the ever-changing rules of society and the flow of time. You must discover how to be a good father and strive to become one. Fortunately, there are many experienced teachers that will gladly help you in this endeavor.
“I confess, I do not know the truth of things. Trial and error have always been my chosen method of learning and I have not yet tried at fathering a son. However, I do not fret at the future task. I have a hidden tool you see. An experienced teacher that has always been there for me.
Here is to a special dad. A master of the art of fatherhood. A man that has always displayed wisdom in his actions. A great role model and a good teacher. A loving man with a heart of gold. He has shown me how to be a great father by being one.
I will be forever grateful for my upbringing. Here is my promise to you daddy: As you know, I will always love and cherish you. However, I will also strive to continue your legacy. To spread the wisdom and courage that you have taught me.
Thank you, daddy
From your loving son,David Turmel