The Best Gift A Father Can Give

"As soon as you're born, they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all...."
-"Working Class Hero" by John Lennon
Weekends are busy time for me. My two sons usually come over, and between taking care of them and answering their incessant questions about the Beatles (or just music in general), the only time I get to myself is when they're sleeping.
And I don't mind. I can't really afford to buy them toys, and I've learned that the more toys they get, the less they value them (kind of like the more dollars we pump in the economy the less value they have because there are so many of them floating around). All I really have to give them is my time, which is also their time. They won't be this age forever, so I've made a point of trying to enjoy every second with them.
And my kids have turned out wonderful. But I won't take all the credit for that, just like when people compliment me on how cute they are, I'm only half the gene pool. But they get what children want the most-attention. They're not spoiled, but they're not perfect either.
When I was growing up, my father was in insurance, and so to support my brothers and sisters and I, he really had to hustle, which meant that he didn't get much time to spend individually with us. And then there was the several occaisions where he spanked us, which I will neither condone or condemn, all I know is when I was older, he did express a regret to me that he did using spankings.
There was a time in my late teens where it was just my father and I living at home, and we would spend evenings playing chess, he would buy some beer (after I turned eighteen. He felt that if I was old enough to serve my country in a time of war, than I was old enough to be served a beer)and we would just talk. I asked a lot of questions, because having lost my mother several years prior, I never knew how long my dad would be around. I learned about his first marriage, the one he had before he married my mother, and often wondered how he could have given up his first child completely. Somewhere out there I have a half sister that I'll probably never meet, or, in one of those quirks of fate, probably know as someone else.
It was after my father passed away that I realized what it's all about. We are not here to accumulate wealth or material items, we are here to make the planet a better place. The best possible way to do this is to raise children who are better citizens than you to take your place. The way to raise good children is not by ignoring them, but by spending time with them, teaching them moral lessons and giving them positive memories that will stay with them their lifetime. Pleasant memories last forever in the mind of a child as much as the bad ones, but only the good ones make them better people. Give your child some time today, and we'll all be better for it tomorrow.

Guitar Picture For Lily


Lily said...

Happy Father's Day! I agree with you-absolutely the best thing we can give is our time. And in the end, many kids want that anyway. So many people look back and regret the time they did not spend, but parents that put kids first don't often complain about the little things (by comparison) they might have given up.

And for the record Lew, we do not buy guitars based on the color. I have some pretty expensive guitars, and one acoustic in particular is a favorite. You assume that girls don't know guitars? FEH! :)

Anyway have a great day, and enjoy them.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Wonderfully, beautifully stated, Lew. Thanks for giving me a smile with this. Time, right now, is all there is.

sumo said...

I'm late for Father's Day...but that was a wonderful post Lew. Your boy has a head of hair! You sound like a great dad...enjoy while you can...they grow up and...alter. Heh!

Lily said...

Lew had a head of hair too...eh Lew?

Ya hippie!

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Lew Scannon said...

Hey! I still have a head of hair! I know the kids try to kid me about a bald spot (conveniently located where I can't see it), but it's allthere (and getting longer again).

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