Dedicated to Jay LeBoeuf and Jim Smartt
What is Father’s Day about, really? Is it a special day dedicated to all Dads out there, even biological ones who simply donated themselves to conceive? I suggest not. Father’s Day is about those fathers who put the time, effort, and yes, financial support into their children. They continue to give to their children of themselves all of their life a part of who they are. They give of themselves. The highest, honorable gift one parent can give to a child, even after they are grown.
They are always there to listen, and give sometimes, unsolicited advice, more often than not due to years of trust that has developed, this advice is usually asked for from father to child, long after a child is grown.
Am I referring to children that grow up, and aren’t able to make a move in life without getting advice from their parental role model? No, because part of being a wonderful parent is the art of letting go, never from the heart, but always keeping in mind, one of the most important things they will ever do is to teach their children how to be independent adults, and they will know instinctively when this process of preparing a child for adulthood should start.
Let’s go back in time, however, to when a child is born, not conceived, but born. Fatherhood starts there. a father’s job is to know when to do for a child, or simply be there for guidance. This is something they become professional’s at from birth on. There is a finite rope to walk when knowing each time for which one is, but father’s grow accustomed to knowing. They become human geiger counters at knowing this because first and foremost, they know their child. They anticipate their child’s needs long before their child is able to, and have the ability to fulfill them.
Wonderful Father’s, which is what Father’s Day is all about, also know when and how to teach a child for their sake as early as childhood, some independence and gentle obedience, knowing that what they teach their children will someday be passed on like any wonderful gift, to their child on their behalf. Wonderful Father’s always put their children’s needs before their own, giving them present and presence of wisdom, insight, and daily progress growing as individuals and people.
Too many fathers skate out of their duties of fatherhood which is a 24/7 day a week career, they become better at with the challenges presented from their children. Does this mean they will never make mistakes or their children, for that matter? Quite the contrary, actually. Both father and child will make mistakes, but, they will be capable of learning from these mistakes, and ideally the father sets by example exactly how to do this.
Wonderful fathers treasure every day, minute and second of time with their child, or children because they already know that babyhood, childhood, teen years, and finally adulthood will all pass with the blink of an eye and every memory should be made with their child to be treasured, honoured, and is a gift from God, even when times aren’t easy.
Father’s Day is the one day their children have to appreciate them, and they will have been taught that time is the most valuable gift they can bestow on a parent, especially when they are adults.
I have had the good fortune of being a child to a wonderful father, who was not my biological one, and made many mistakes, but always learned from them. This taught me to do the same. My father, who has passed away now, was a man of few words, but his words counted, and when he said something to me, I knew there was always truth and nuggets of wisdom in his comments. My father, like aging wine, got better at the job with each year that passed, setting countless examples of what a father should be.
There is no book that can answer every question on how to be a wonderful parent, but if there were, my ex-husband and current partner would be the author of it. He has sacrificed all of his life to and for his children, being there for them even when they did not expect it, anticipating the perfect advice and words adapted to each child’s personality to best help them.
This is my children’s father. Often I am asked, “Samantha, what was your “trick” in raising your children”? “What are the things you did that were so successful to have your children turn out so wonderfully”? I would have to pass much of this credit onto their father who was a fine example of how exceptional a father can be, following the above description of an ideal father in his actions and words in raising his children. You see, we divorced when our children were still very young, but vowed to stay best friends for our children’s sake, regardless.
Ironically, it was not until after they were grown we resumed our love relationship which was easy since our relationship was always founded upon a love and truth that never died, but took different forms, with each form benefiting our children to the best of our abilities at various time periods in their lives.
This was largely due to their father, who knew what was best for them often before I did. We also communicated, which allowed us both to thrive as parents. I must however, point out that their father is the best example of one that I have ever seen in regards to effort, time and nurturing his children. He has been their biggest gift in life helping both of them to flourish and thrive. Did he make mistakes along the way? Of course he did. We are all human beings, therefore imperfect. We also teach our children one of the most valuable lessons through these mistakes: how to forgive ourselves for mistakes, as well as our parents when they made one. We taught them this through our actions and words always taking accountability for our mistakes and communicating this to them passing onto them the gift of learning how to forgive ourselves first, and others as well for their transgressions.
The last example I would like to point out, is that their father parented each of them differently, based on their personalities, adapted his parenting style when necessary. He taught them the power of love and what responsibilities that love involved, as well as trust and respect through his actions and words. He taught them the beauty of uniqueness and that each of us is different because God made us this way. He also knew when it was best to let me do the parenting when it was best for them. Thank you so much Jay, for your wonderful contributions in helping our children be the best adults they can be. If these words were a script, both children could easily play the role because of their father and the gifts and legacy he continues to leave for them.
Happy Father’s Day to my father and Jay, as well as all fathers out there living the example of what a father should be to the best of their ability.
Samantha Leboeuf/Proud Paren
A FATHER IS A SERVANT TO HIS CHILDREN’S NEEDS,
HE KNOWS WHEN TO FOLLOW AND KNOWS WHEN TO LEAD.
HE KNOWS HIS CHILD NEEDS HIM BEFORE HE IS AWARE,
HE KNOWS THEIR INDIVIDUALS AND IS ALWAYS THERE.
HE IS A TEACHER FOR ALL OF LIFE’S MISTAKES,
HE KNOWS WHEN TO DISCIPLINE WITH THE LOVE THAT IT TAKES.
ALSO, TO LET GO, WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT,
HE KNOW THE GIFT OF PATIENCE AND WISDOMS INSIGHT.
YOU SEE HE IS A FATHER, WITH TRUTH AND EDUCATION,
HE TEACHES HIS CHILD RESPECT IN EVERY SITUATION.
HE LIVES THE JOB OF PARENTING, EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS.
HE IS THERE FRONT AND CENTER, OR JUST BEHIND THE SCENES.
HIS JUDGEMENT IS SOUND, HE PROMOTES HIS CHILD’S GOALS
HARDEST OF ALL, THE TIMES A FATHER SHOULD LET GO.
SL/FATHERS DAY, 2019