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Dad I'M So Proud Of You

Mar 6, 2008
When our children are born we always wait for the milestones in their life. Their first words, and their first steps are things that we usually write down in a scrap book of sorts to keep track of their accomplishments. When they get a little older we save things like their first drawing or a card that they made for us. When they begin school we make a spot for all of the little projects that they created to bring home and give to us. Once they're in high school we keep report cards, and progress reports and love to get those bumper stickers that say, "Proud Parent of an Honor Roll Student." They get accepted into college, and we swell with joy, they become accomplished students, they graduate and find a great job, get married, and live productive independent lives. We talk about our children to our friends and experience the pride that only parents can feel. It's something that comes from way down deep in our soul. To use a Yiddish term, we kvell from our children. Everything that they do makes us feel like we did a good job in raising them.

I have that feeling daily for my own children. I know that Sarah is only 17 and Grace is only 11 so my work isn't done yet. But, one of the things that I've noticed as they have gotten older is that now it's not so much the pride that I have in them, it's the pride that I would like them to have in me. When I look at my life I wonder, do they have anything to be proud of me for? I've been married twice, the divorces were the result of affairs, and both of my daughters know it. I provide for them, but I always seem to have some financial problem that keeps me from having disposable income that they always seem to ask me for when I don't have it. Yes sir, I have made my fair share of mistakes, and my struggles go with the territory. Don't get me wrong, I do a lot of things right. A good friend of mine once told me that even bad parents do some things that are right. I don't think that I am a bad parent. I just wish that I was a little smarter sometimes.

My youngest daughter Grace spends a lot of time with me and tells me all the time that I am her best friend. Sarah who is 17 is getting more like a woman everyday, and she has started to seek more advice from me daily. I don't know when the tide turned and I started seeking the approval of my kids. But I do know one thing, I want it. Not that I will go to any length to get it, but my children's feelings for me as a person and as a dad means more to me than they could ever know. I believe that all fathers want their children to speak well of them and they want their children to have that feeling inside of them that they are glad that they have you for their father.

I recently wrote a book and submitted it to a publisher. Both of my kids knew I was writing this book and were wondering just what I was going to do with it. Grace was with me one morning and we were getting ready to go off to school. I took out the garbage, and looked at my front door and found a package sitting there. I figured it was from a bill collector. I opened the envelope and found a letter and a contract inside from the publisher telling me that he was accepting my book for publication. My best friend Grace was standing there with me to celebrate. There was nothing like it. Having Grace there at that point in time meant everything to me. My oldest daughter Sarah was in school. a little later, I took a chance thinking that she might be in lunch, and that she might answer her cell phone, and she did. I told her that a publisher was accepting my book. After she got through screaming she said to me, "Dad I am so proud of you." I hung up the phone and wept. It was if I had made the honor roll and the roles were reversed, when she told me how proud she was of me. As we get older our kids will always measure our accomplishments, behavior, and attitudes against that of other people, and other parents. I want to give my children more things to be proud of me for before I go home to be with my creator. My daughter told me she was proud of me because I wrote a book. Hopefully one day she will be proud of me because of who I am as a father and more importantly because I am her father.
About the Author
For more about Jim Burns http://behavioral-management.com/
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