H. Neal Glanville: Test of fatherhood
December 15, 2009
Well, it's three days until my double dose of first-born twins turn 40. I'd thought about many of the escapades we had together, but somehow they missed the mark of what a father should say about his grown children.
Bragging about one's children is too easy, but looking back with honesty at the choices you made can be frightening.
As the kids were growing up, I constantly heard I had too many rules and expected far too much.
"Times are changing," I was told over and over.
"You need to be your children's friend."
I still can't grasp the stupidity of the "friendship" clause in parenthood, though I think I overwhelmed it with the shared adventures of growing up.
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Sure, we by-passed coloring books for end rolls of newsprint and large blank sheets of paper, but it just seemed wrong to keep a child's creativity inside somebody else's lines. A wrong choice perhaps, but all the kids have artistic ability, and Ericca has been well paid for her graphic art projects.
Did I walk them deep into the dark timber and leave them to find their own way out? Yup, and they found their way out.
Throughout the years of our separation, I worried on the rules I'd imposed and the choices I'd made. Had I been too tough and everyone else was right? In the end, I decided life would show me if I had been on the right track or not.
One of the twins told me I'd been a poor husband, but a great dad.
Then one day, while Ericca was vacationing here, I heard my words come out of Ericca's mouth while she was talking to her kids.
That sealed the deal. I had been a good dad, and after hearing my words be used to help another generation, there may be hope for me.
As life will have it, the children have become what they aimed for. As their father, I can only bask in the pride that comes with that.
Happy birthday, Ericca and Eileen.
Now for something completely different…
It not only pains the two fingers I type with, but the weak side of my brain is beginning to ooze out of its escape hatch. Why you ask? Well, I'll answer: I'm in partial agreement with Saturday's editorial.
When our kids excel on any academic level, we should ring the bell for quality education and thank the teachers responsible. These kids are the future of our country.
Hey, you be careful out there.