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Fathers & Sons (How the Years Go By)
The month of June 2010 is going to be very special for me and my two wonderful children, for two main reasons; Chris and Aedan both graduate.
Chris graduated from the University of Winnipeg on Friday, June 11th with his master’s degree and Aedan will graduate from St. Paul’s High School is honored on Tuesday, June 29th.
It’s special because I love my boys so much and because it represents success throughout their young lives.
Chris’ decision to go to university surprised me and his decision to work towards two degrees was a gift to himself and an amazing gift in my life as his father. Without a doubt, I am very proud of the man he is and what he has achieved. In the grand scheme of things I wouldn’t have expected this going back a few years. But sometimes life is full of amazing surprises!
I said ‘very’ in a special way but in a way it was a painful moment for me too because not many years ago I had the chance to live to see my son Aedan graduate from St. Paul was very small.
The fall of 2001 is when I got sick. Aedan was 9 years old at the time and in grade 4. By February 2002 I was no longer able to work and found myself at home or in the hospital as I bravely faced the biggest challenges of my life. live long enough to receive two lungs. It arrived in August 2003 and on time. To all three of my children; Chris, Marnie and Aedan had a very difficult time, especially for Aedan because he was so young.
My fight to stay alive required me to muster all the mental, spiritual and physical strength I could muster and rely on family, friends, community and medical professionals to help me along the way. One of my activities and one that helped me the most was setting goals. One of the goals I set for myself was to live long enough to see my son Aedan graduate from high school. It’s bittersweet because it’s such a fun and exciting time and it also brings back memories of a dark and difficult time in Aedan’s and my life. I have had Aedan’s help to achieve that goal! Chris was a bonus!
How the Years Go
Many of you have children who have just graduated from university or college and/or are about to graduate from high school this month. And to all of you, fathers and mothers, thank you for your hard work and dedication in getting your children there! They could not have done it without your help and guidance. I hope it has been a labor of love for each of you. Their success is your success and in addition to being their celebration it is also yours, so bask in the glow of good work.
My main reason for sharing some of my experiences and proud moments is to get your attention as well and remind you especially of all the men around this; “Father’s Day,” that these are “times of our lives.” These are the times that should reflect what we need and love most that defines us, which is part of our life’s purpose. For our children, graduation is an important part of their early development and growth.
This is also a time of reflection in our lives because it shows us how quickly the years pass and how the true meaning of life can help us if we are not paying attention. Think about it, when your child gets to school, most of the time he spends at home will be over and that is a scary thought.
He together with your support and his mother, had the most important events in his life; from his birth it seems now very long ago. You’ve seen his first words, first steps, learning to ride a bike, kindergarten, going to high school, playing on his first sports team, music lessons, starting high school, turning sixteen and driving, dating for the first time, graduating of high school and reach drinking age almost immediately, as opposed to going to university or college.
Yes, you would be there or around his side to change his diapers, wipe his nose, bandage his wounds, feed him, teach him to dress himself, tie his skates when he starts his hockey, drive him to the game at 5:30. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, I froze to death and cheered from the fields, football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, helping him with homework, playing ropes, being at Christmas plays and shows, teaching him to drive, picking him up from fancy parties. at school when he was drinking and didn’t want to drive, you reminded him of his chores, sent him to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, clean his room, the list goes on. You remember everything like it was yesterday and you also remember the purpose of the way you were raised, he wanted you to improve your values, teach responsibility, discipline and work hard, even though at the time he thought your behavior was crazy. !
At this time, fathers often ask themselves these questions; “Did I do everything I could when he was growing up, was I there for him in difficult times, did he feel like he could rely on me when he needed it? Did I tell him that I loved him enough? Example?” Difficult questions when thinking about the time you can’t recover especially if your assessment takes you too far.
Well, my money is on both of you and I bet that even if you have bumps in the road you are not far behind when needed and that your child knows about you and respects you for it.
There are wonderful times ahead for all of you as your child goes off to their first job after school, weddings, buying a house, grandchildren, birthdays and special events as life begins to repeat itself. Yes, the relationship between a father and a child is special and every man who chooses to have a son and become a father takes on one of the most important responsibilities in his life so he must manage it very well. of that time. Be patient and your kids will show you how it’s done. And luckily, maybe one day your child will say; “I am my father’s son,” he said proudly. You’ll know you did him a favor and you’ll be just a little bit proud! I hope all you dads had a great Father’s Day last Sunday.
I have been blessed with many things in my life, and yes surprisingly, I have made the best decisions in my life. The best decision I ever made was to be a father and as it turned out I am a father to three children; two sons and a daughter. For 40+ years he has taught me a lot about parenting but mostly about myself. I can say with hindsight and without a doubt that my children have played a large part in the man I am today. There is no question that at times being a parent has been difficult but it has not come with any regrets.
They have taught me to be gentle and tolerant, they have taught me the true meaning of giving and being selfless, without thinking about revenge, even though what comes back is sometimes incredible. I have become a calm and gentle person, I learned to see the simple things in life, especially when I was young and I found a place of peace when everything seemed like chaos.
In trying to understand my children’s needs and desires as they grow, I learned that I didn’t need to know everything and that at every stage of my children’s development I was learning from them. Finally, and over the past seven years, I have learned that I often share my best lessons based on the example I give and my listening skills.
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