Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where is Andy Griffith When you need him?

As one might conclude from the title of my blog, I am the father of three children. Teensy is the newest addition to the family at two months, then we have an 18 month-old Levi and finally, Titus 4 1/2 years old. I will be spinning the tale of Teensy and the boys soon, but not tonight. Talk about avoiding long blogs--that one will be a humdinger.
Titus is, as you might imagine a great kid. He is awesome in every way with exception to the temper tantrums he throws--hate those. Lately, Titus has been coordinating what he wears with exactly what I wear. He must match me exactly and is not convinced that they don't make Power Ranger underwear for "big boys." My usual uniform when I come home from work is a white t-shirt and sweat pants, summer moves me into very comfortable shorts. Every night the story is the same, "Dad, what underwear are you wearing?....What color pants?...OK, Dad I look just like you." It's the ultimate form of flattery. But a load I doubt Atlas would be willing to carry.
Knowing the heir to all of my debt is watching me so closely is such a huge, huge burden. He is processing and filtering every single detail, every move, every facial expression, every word, every t-shirt. It's all being choreographed in his sharp little mind and played out in his life. As much as I try to influence the programing of his brain, I know I can't. But, I also know that I am able to influence his programming by doing my best to be my best.
I want my son:

  • to see me take the shopping cart back to the "proper location" and not abandon it by my car.
  • to see me put the grocery items I decide not to purchase back in their proper location and not in whatever aisle I happen to be in. Or politely tell the underpaid clerk checking me out that I decided against these items.
  • to see me help someone who needs it. Maybe I will get that box of super rich, fiber and flax, horse food processed for human consumption cereal down form the tippy-top shelf.
  • allow someone to pull out in front of me so they can be on their way. I can't make them win the lottery, but being allowed to pull into traffic is as close as you come to winning the lottery.
  • to see my cry.
  • to see me angry at injustice.
  • to see compassionate toward those that are not as blessed as my family.
  • to see me struggle with a problem work it out and be the better person for it.
  • to know that I will always be there for him, even when he doesn't have the courage to ask--he wont' have to because I will know and I will be there.
  • be able to identify bizarre people and give a comprehensive list of the reason for their qualification.

Integrity, honesty, compassion, empathy, sympathy all traits that I would throw into the fish bowl as great traits; ingredients for great people. I won't be able to teach him anything about athletics, car repair, woodworking, hunting, carpentry, barbecuing/smoking, or your basic garage/outdoor dwellings. Should he choose to participate in any of the afore mentioned "manly man things" he will be a good sport, help his teammates, and have a great time. I will of course be there reading, "_____for Dummies" and attempting to wrap my brain around the logic behind our American past-times.

I feel the same sense of burden with Levi and Teensy, too it is just that Titus is already living a life of his own. I don't know what he does at preschool. I don't know his friends or the things that they laugh about. I don't know if he washes his hands after he goes to the bathroom, or if he is actually avoiding the public drinking fountain (they are so gross to me). It's his own little world, his life, his way that he is making for himself and all in just 4 1/2 years.

I'm glad that he wants to be like me, but I wish he would want to be like someone else who is more excellent at being a person to shape your life around. Where is Andy Griffith when you need him! He would know what to do. He embodies all of those traits with exception to his one character flaw--those pants legs are always hung up in those boots. (Mildred--I'm not slamming Andy in any way or making a derogatory comment about him, just an observation.) I would gladly let him do the job.

"You are the best Dad in the world." He's said that to me on more than one occasion and it's music to my ears.

Thank you, Father for the blessing of my children. Help me to be the best Dad I can be and then step in and be the best Father YOU can be. I know I make decisions everyday that don't make you proud, or make you want to stop the angels to see what I did, but I ask that you give me just this one measure--that I might be a great father to my three gifts. Teach me how to be held so I can hold them, teach me how to be loved so I can love them, teach me how to accept forgiveness so I can forgive them, teach me how to accept challenge and be better on the other side of it so I can challenge them and guarantee their success. Make your steps deep so that I may never not know where to walk. amen.


Sharon said...

I admire you and your fatherhood. I sometimes think that my kids emulate my behavior and that is darn frightening sometimes....but on the other hand, I know that I bless my kids each and every day as you do with your sweet cherubs. You are a blessing.....

Donna said...

That was lovely William. You're a great father and person.
You might as well get ready to read ____ for dummies in the stands because he will be an athlete. I'm sure of it. Don't worry Kendra can teach him.
Now, Andy did not have a continual problem with his pant legs and his boots. You're green.
And, I can't count how many times we've been in a store, decided to put something back, and had you set it on whatever aisle we happened to be on while saying, "they have employees to deal with this stuff." Guess you do that while Titus isn't looking;)