Wednesday, August 22, 2007


When I decided to get married at the tender young age of 23, I thought marriage would be like dating. If two or three hours with my wife to be on a date was so enjoyable, how much more so would it be to spend 24 hours a day together! I don't need to tell any of you who are married or living with another person how naive I was. If I was naive about marriage, I was even more clueless about parenthood. Although I grew up with a Mom and a Dad and five brothers and sisters, I had no idea about the demands of parenthood until I became a parent myself. When my sons were babies and young boys, the demands were great but once you got into a routine, it wasn't so bad. All my wife and I had for guidance were our parents and a paperback copy of Dr Spock's book of parenting. I was blessed to have a spouse to share the responsibilities and we had no major issues until my oldest reached puberty and the teen age years. In the spirit of kindness and forgiveness, let's just say he was a challenging young man. Neither of my children are perfect and they are also very different from one another. The good news is that both of them have turned out very good in spite of many mistakes made on my part as a parent. In spite of my own personal weaknesses and mistakes, I have tried to be a positive role model. I have tried to be faithful to my own values and to live with a moral consciousness. They did not always agree with me and I am sure there were times I was considered a clueless old man. I tried to always do and say the right thing, expressing my beliefs and opinions, and trying to instill in them a sense of right and wrong. All of this is a preface to the main idea I want to put out today. If you want your children to turn out to be decent human beings, stick to your values and be a positive and moral example to them. Later in life they will forgive your mistakes if you remained true to what you believe and practice. Most parents try to make up for whatever weaknesses they believed their own parents had. Unfortunately, your own weaknesses will eventually appear and you will make different mistakes. Your children may never actually tell you what they admire about you or what a positive influence you were. However, their lives will say volumes. My older son was a challenge in his youth. Now he's a good husband and father. His brother wasn't a lot of trouble but he wasn't perfect either. I like to think some of my spiritual nature influenced him to want to be a priest. All in all, I've been blessed and all the challenges and demands of parenthood have been worth all the effort and struggle. The seeds you plant early in their lives will blossom later. Then, as an older parent, you can sit back and enjoy their maturity and coming of age. Plus, when they have their own children, they'll get theirs. (smile)

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