(by R.P. Edwards)
Manhood is a lofty thing
Of strength, and courage, sure
To stand and speak and act the part
Convictions, deep and pure
But “fatherhood” is all of these
Yet more in height and scope
For in his leading of the young
The future comes…with hope
It is Saturday eve, and before I turn in afore the Sabbath’s many important doings, a few words about fathers. Now, I’ve been “one” since well before computers and cell phones took hold, yet I’ve, sadly, not mastered the art and, alas, my children are marching on in age all too quickly. Oh, I’ve still got a few in the “formative” years but, with so many signals invading their sponge-like brains, communication can be difficult and, of course, I have to push aside my own self-absorption. Yet, we co-exist, and I try to season their lives with some important interaction, and an occasional affirmation of concern and affection. If I were to grade myself, I’d put it somewhere between a F- and an A+. In other words…I don’t have a clue.
My wife and I were making a Home Depot stop. The nozzle on our pull-out faucet had busted and we needed, obviously, a new one. While we walked the isles I saw the duo. The younger male was pushing a cart with some eight-foot sections of pvc and other plumbing supplies. The elder was conferring with the experts of the shop, even as he directed his young aid. The boy, probably elevenish, from the look on his face, seemed quite pleased to be helping his dad in this most important (whatever it was) task. A father, teaching a son. As important a job as any I can think of. I hope his leading extends beyond the pipes.
A final note. My father, John (88), gave (and gives) me a fine example to follow. Steady, sturdy, devout, determined, he’s been a positive influence in my life for quite some time. What a shame I was not so receptive when I was an “all knowing” teenager. Speedy recovery, “Pop,” I love you.