Archive for the ‘fatherhood’ Category

I did not receive love and encouragement from my parents but that does not necessarily mean I will make the same mistake with my own children. On the contrary, I give my sons all my love and always let them know how proud I am of them.

Every child needs love and caring, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Unfortunately some parents are too ignorant to know what their child needs, and the problem is passed from generation to generation.

In some segments of the Latin American community, this is a real problem. Our parents believe respecting them is a priority above all else, while building a child’s self-esteem is seen as a ridiculous modern notion. Some parents put their needs above their child’s – worried only that they will be taken care of when they grow old. Some parents believe they must be first in your life, above all else – including your wife, children, or your own well being or desire for happiness.

It seems that this problem is taboo to talk about, and so nothing ever changes. If anyone suggests that maybe things shouldn’t be this way, they are called selfish, told that they are sinning and God will punish them, made to feel guilty or accused of being Americanized. (I have endured all these things.)

Hopefully things will change for future generations. At least I know that my children will never have to ask me why I didn’t love them or encourage them. My sons will never feel that I brought them into this world simply to make sure I’d have someone to take care of me.

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Family Time

Posted: June 5, 2011 in family, fatherhood

Time with the family is valuable and sometimes we don’t realize how important it is. The reality is we live in a time and in a culture here in the United States, where we don’t try to spend time with the family because we’re either focused on work, or tired from it.

When one realizes this, they must decide to change their ways, or week after week things will remain the same. Before you know it, years have gone by, your children have grown, and you’ve lost your chance to spend time with your family.

Paddle boating with the boys.

Shoes + Mercy

Posted: May 29, 2011 in childhood, fatherhood, humor, memories

Yesterday we went to do our regular grocery shopping and on our way back home I decided to stop for gas. My little one asked if he could help me. I thought for a moment and decided it was an important thing for him to know so I said he could.

I tried to explain how to do it – how to hold the nozzle and everything, but I didn’t realize it was too heavy for him. He pointed it directly at me and gasoline went dripping onto my new shoes. (Anyone who knows me, knows I love to keep my shoes very clean.)

My little boy’s eyes looked scared in that moment and I remembered how my parents used to beat me with a belt for the smallest mistakes.

I told my son it was okay, even though I had to drive home like this:

Today I helped my 12 year old shave for the first time.

I remember the first time I shaved – Nobody was there to show me – it was just my own reflection in the mirror. My father died at a time in a boy’s life when he needs someone to show him how to be a man. Even if he’d been alive, I’m not sure he’d have shown me – we never had that kind of relationship. Not once did he tell me he was proud of me or that he loved me.

I helped my son shave for the first time. I tell him I’m proud of him and that I love him every day. Over the years I’ve learned that I can be the father I always wanted to have. Some days I do better than others.