With two sons, I wonder sometimes if I'm saying the right things to either of them. My oldest son is now a dad himself and admittedly, he grew up when I was a different guy. My oldest is from my first marriage, when I was struggling with inner demons and trying to figure out what a dad did. I often think that I shortchanged my oldest son in that he was only 3 when his mom and I split up and I wasn't there enough to give him the dadly advise and guidance in the same way I have with my younger son. In the years since, my oldest has told me that he appreciated the times that I sacrificed and drove the distance to see him and our talks on the phone etc. and we have a wonderful relationship today.
My youngest son is about to graduate High School and launch out into the deep that is the ocean of life! I have had the opportunity to interact on a daily basis with him, however, I still wonder if he has retained all my “old school” advice and how he has looked on at my corny sense of humor. He is a fine young man and will graduate near the top of his class. He is a hard worker and has a good moral compass.
My dad passed away when I was just 22 and had a LOT of maturing to do. I was kind of left to float out there, on my own. I made a ton of mistakes, however, the guidance my dad instilled in me, in the time we had, has stayed with me all my life. I've been thinking about how I might leave something written down for my boys to read and look back on long after I'm gone....hopefully YEARS from now. A friend of mine told me he actually has written letters to his boys and sealed them up, to be opened after his demise. Here are some of the things he said he put in those letters and …. yup.....I'm gonna steal them!
I'm proud to have been your dad all these years. I have tried to teach you with my words, but mostly with my actions. I want to leave you with these few maxims that I hope will help along your life's journey in dealing with the lady/girl/woman in your life.
Always be a gentleman. Hold doors open for her.
Carry stuff for her and give her your chair if she needs one.
Let her go first. Let her order first at the restaurant.
Tell her she looks nice, beautiful, stunning....DON'T SAY “HOT”....unless it's appropriate.
Protect her. Keep her safe.
Make her laugh!!!
Give her encouragement. Tell her you know she can do it (whatever that is at the time). Let her know you have her back.
Don't be crude or use nasty language around her.
Surprise her with something nice, even if it's small like a single flower, for no reason.
Don't let her down!
Remember, son you are her knight in shining armor, even if she doesn't think she needs one.