Tomorrow is Father's Day and I have to admit the holiday takes on a whole new perspective when viewed as a father as opposed to being a son. For years, I celebrated it as a son honoring his father and three years ago, I'm finally on the other side of the coin with my own daughter.
While Father's Day is meant to honor dads, I find it a time to also marvel at my little one and how she has grown so much in three short years. It's truly an honor to be responsible for this little life and to nurture her as best as I can. I want to thank my dad for teaching me how to be a caring father and I hope that I pass along those gifts to my little one so if she is blessed with her own children some day, she will understand how important caring for children is.
It is particularly distressing to see people who don't appreciate the responsibilities they do have for young life. We are the caretakers of a future generation and it is a gift we are given to be able to nurture a little life.
One of the worst crimes in my eyes are those who don't realize that and who abuse the privilege they have been given. Yes, having a life for whom you are responsible is a privilege. You don't deserve it. It is not owed to you. It is a divine gift given to those of us who have been blessed with children, and it is our responsibility to care for those gifts and teach them well.
This past week I was going into Boyer's and this woman who seemed to be having a hard day is an example of what I mean. Life stinks sometimes and it can come down on all of us really hard. To compound manners, children are children and they can try that last nerve, but we are the adults and the ones who are supposed to show restraint. Well, no one told this woman that. I appreciate she may have been having a bad day. I have had my share in the past year, but as I observed her, she was really unfair to her child.
She pushed him down when he was trying to steer a cart, and then let loose with a tirade throughout Boyer's Market of vocabulary not fit for a ship full of sailors. We purposely had to lag behind to keep our daughter from learning this new limited vocabulary. Fortunately we were able to get away from her, but as I left I just had to shake my head and wonder what that boy's future will be like.
I'm not perfect. I'm far from it. I have been known to lose my composure occasionally and even have sworn with the best of them, but discretion is important. I would never use R rated language around my daughter and I will do everything in my power to keep such language from her ears as long as possible. I'm not naïve, but I am protective. This country's sense of dignity has crashed and burned lately.
Everything including the occasional swear has its place in society, but not in every day conversation. If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, you shouldn't say it around your children. Learn some new words if your vocabulary consists of swear words. They don't make you sound intelligent. In fact, swearing is just not classy no matter where you are. There is no reason for it to occur in every day conversation except to reveal your character or lack of it. Everyone loses their temper occasionally and lets their words flow uncensored, but when it is used in every day conversation, one really should spend more time listening and less time polluting the air with their foul mouths.
Worse than language are those monsters who would inflict injury and pain on children because they are ignorant of how to care for another life especially one so small. The papers are full of stories every day of morons who parent children by beating them and shaking them or otherwise abusing them.
These stories make me physically ill and very sad. These people do not seem to understand the gift they have in front of them and how many people would desperately want to comfort that crying child they have the sick urge to shake or beat.
If you feel that uncontrollable urge, please don't act upon it. Get help. Call the police or call an ambulance and show mercy on your child. There are people who will help you and your little one find a way to make it.
For those of you who use your children as a punching bag for your frustrations, please stop. Don't hit them again. They only want to love you. Maybe that was the way you were treated but it doesn't make it right. I'm deeply sorry if you had to suffer that way, but now you are the adult and you need to stand up for yourself and your child.
Last but not least, we all have to take back responsibility for our families. Stay involved with your kids. Work with them. Teach them. Help them in school. Enjoy them while they are young so that when they are grown, you can be proud of them as they will be of you. One day you will reap a great reward when you see the circle of life continue and know there is a part of you there.
Happy Father's Day and thank you Dad.