Today, my son and I are on our fourth day of vacation. I took him back to visit my family in Kansas City, MO. My wife and step-daughter could not come for a number of reasons. While I did not make a big deal about it at the time, I should have insisted that she/ they come. It would have given us a much needed opportunity to grow closer and bond as a family. They would have also been able to meet the people, visit many of the places and experience some of the things that served as the foundation for who I would eventually become, both good and bad.
While leaving the movie theater, my son made a very insightful comment about how family is important because when all is said and done, when you don’t have anything else in the world, the one thing that truly matters is family. This led me to think about my upbringing and how much different mine was to my son’s. At 11 years old, my son has had the kind of life that I never had but always wanted. He has had the kind of life that is filled with love, care, attention and support. Consequently, he has more friends than I had at his age; people naturally like him; he still has an innocence that was long gone by the time I was 11; most of all, he has the greatest of hearts.
“The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real. It is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live.” – Victor Hugo
I don’t think that many of us, particularly dads, truly appreciates the supreme importance of family involvement and structure in the developing minds and hearts of our kids. Because at the end of the day, when kids feel a sense of love, belonging, acceptance and support, they not only become better human beings, but they go on to do great things that help to make the world an even better place. While I am “on my son” to do his best in everything that he commits to, to finish what he starts, to be a man of his word, to find his passion and pursue it relentlessly letting no-one, not even me, stop him, I am very proud to be his dad.