Thursday, June 13, 2013

Theme Thursday: Dad

Here's my husband with our boys in 1993, playing the role he lived for, sacrificed for, and loved: being a dad.

When our boys were growing up, he used to say that if a parent tries to be his kids' friend during their formative years (those all-important years when along with the love, they need healthy doses of guidance and discipline), then more often than not, it's difficult to be friends after they've grown up.  Parenthood is not supposed to be a popularity contest, he would say (a notion learned from his own excellent father).  And he was totally on board with that. His goal was not to be popular with his sons (not all the time, anyway, because he had to be tough on them when the situation warranted it); his goal was to raise fine upstanding men: men of character; men with their Faith and morals intact. His goal was to raise future saints.
Here's my husband with our boys in December of 2009, at the rehearsal dinner the night before our firstborn's wedding.  These boys men will always be my husband's sons first; but as you can see from this picture, they are now also his friends.

And I'll drink to that!
"Well done, Dad!"
I'm not only drinking up here (figuratively speaking, anyway), but I'm linking up as well--joining Cari at Clan Donaldson for a round of toasts to dads!

18 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story of delayed gratification. Great pictures too!

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    1. Thanks, Joy.

      My husband totally loved his vocation as a father, and there was lots of gratification and lots of fun during the years the boys were growing up. But luckily, he was wise enough to know that it's perfectly okay for your kids to dislike you temporarily (when you say "no, you can't go to that PG-13 movie, even though you're 15," for example--we had to do that a lot!; or "that car has to be back in the garage at 11:00, and not a minute later"), and as long as they know deep down you do it out of love and because you want what's best for them, they'll appreciate it in the long run. I hate feeling unliked (even temporarily!)--so luckily we were a team and were in it together!

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  2. A great husband, father, and man. And those drinking horns are pretty rad, too!

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    1. My oldest son gave the drinking horns as gifts to his four groomsmen (his brothers)...then added one for himself and his dad, too. (Our baby was only 16 at the time, so his was filled with Mt. Dew!)

      This is my all-time favorite picture of all my men.

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  3. You should raise a glass of beer..or horn..everyday because you have yourself a good looking bunch of boys there. AND a great father who helped raise them. CHEERS!

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    1. Thank you so much, Christine. These are my 6 favorite men on earth. There are no words for how I feel about them.

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  4. Laura, what a great testimony to authentic fatherhood! As a teacher, I see the direct results of children whose parents try to be friends with them instead of parents, and it's not a pretty result. Well done, to you and your hubby, for being parents first. I'm sure that was very difficult at times while they were growing up, but like we can all tell from those great pictures, it paid off!

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    1. Olivia, it's funny--one of our sons is now in his second year as a math teacher in a public high school. Some years back, he spent 2 years as a teacher's aide in a public middle school, and then while getting his Master's he spent a year student teaching at a public high school. And he has said so many times since he embarked on his teaching career, "I am going to be such a strict parent!" He, too, sees the results of parents who try too hard to be buddies and say yes to every request. He was not always thrilled with us for seeming like the only parents who said NO to things, or had curfews that were earlier than his friends', etc. He didn't yell at us about it or confront us openly, but we could feel his resentment sometimes. And you would not believe how close he feels to us as an adult. He and his dad spent 6 years coaching his old high school lacrosse team together, and they interacted like peers...like best friends.

      So along the way, it can be tempting to go the easy route. But I don't think the end results when you do that are, as you put it, "pretty."

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. (And sorry, I pretty much wrote a new blog post there!)

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  5. Your husband (and you) is a great example of fatherhood, and I love hearing about from the perspective of already having raised your boys. Although do we ever really stop "raising" them? You give the rest of us great insights and hope, Laura!

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    1. We certainly never stop worrying about them! And now our son who is a father to three little girls under two will call and ask things like, "Did you guys ever let us cry ourselves to sleep?"

      So I guess you're always a parent, no matter how old they get. And they're always your babies. :)

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  6. All your guys are so handsome. What you say here, about friendship and all, such a struggle fur my hudband, he has such a tough time with our teens. He doesn'tind disciplining, but it is so hard for him to feel like they don't want his friendship. I'm going to have him read this, thanks.

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    1. Thanks for your comment about my boys, Rebekah.

      It IS hard doing the right thing through the teen years. Especially when it seems like most of your kids' friends' patents are more lenient. But last night, when our second son came over for Father's Day, he was talking to us about how none of his kids were going to have their own cell phones until they went to college, and other things of that nature regarding how he planned to raise his kids so that they wouldn't get spoiled. He's the one who teaches high school math, which has been such an eye-opener for him (and he's one who didn't 't exactly love our rules all the time), So tell your husband to hang in there. Down the road, they will appreciate him so much!

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  7. What a wonderful role model he is! And I love your photos of the different time periods. Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. And thank YOU for stopping by and leaving such nice comments!

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  8. I love reading your insights...as the mother of grown children. You and your children are blessed to have such a good father/husband.

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  9. That is an awesome picture of your hubby and sons at the rehearsal. What you wrote is so true and good for him for sticking to his guns.

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    1. Thanks for this nice comment, Laura. :)

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