Redwood Falls Gazette
  • TROY'S COLUMN — Being a dad is a humbling role

  • Alexander Imich, who was the oldest man in the world until his passing over the weekend, attributed his longevity to many things, among them the fact that he had no kids....
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  • I love being a dad. Knowing there are people who get excited to just see you come home at the end of the day (at least during those pre-teen years) makes all of the other stuff seem trivial. As the dad of seven kids, I am stretched at times to ensure each of them gets the kind of attention they need and deserve, and I know I fall short on far too many occasions. Alexander Imich, who was the oldest man in the world until his passing over the weekend, attributed his longevity to many things. One of those things was the fact that he had no kids. Honestly, I am not sure I would want to live to be 111 if I was not able to be around my Naomi, Caleb, Mimi, Amos, Anna, Martha and Gideon. Being a dad means providing sage advice on a regular basis that can help guide your children as they grow into adults, but to be honest there are times when I learn just as much from being around them as they might by hearing from me. There are two valuable characteristics I have gained over the past 20 years of being a dad – patience and humility. Honestly, it is most often the youngest of the children who provide the best context for both. Reading through the same book 47 times in a row on a Saturday night teaches patience. A four-year-old girl whose tact has not yet developed definitely can be very humbling. Being told just how many gray hairs you have in the hair remaining on your head demonstrates there are times when patience wears thin. Watching your child do homework, especially in math, knowing there is no way you could ever understand it can be humbling. (Thankfully, there are others who can help them.) I know there were plenty of times when I tested the patience of my own dad growing up, and I am confident there are times when I still do. I had the chance to be in a vehicle with my dad for more than 40 hours as we traveled to El Paso recently, and it was nice to be able to connect with him in a way I have not been able to in a very long time. I have a great dad. He has a very humble spirit and has taught me so many lessons over the years. As our father-son relationship continues I know that is going to keep happening. I just hope I can have that same kind of relationship with my progeny over time. This Sunday is Father’s Day, and I want to encourage everyone to take the time to celebrate the dad in your life. I know not everyone’s dad is around anymore, but even if you are not able to be with your dad during the day, I would encourage you to just spend some time thinking about all of the sacrifices he made for you. If your dad is alive, be sure to spend some time with him. If he is too far away for face to face interaction, make sure you give him a call, and do not make it a collect call. (Did you know more collect calls are made on Father’s Day than any other day of the year?) To all of you dads out there I want to encourage you to just keep trying to be the best you can be. We all are going to make mistakes along the way. Be involved in the lives of your children. They need you, even when it seems they have no interest in what you have to say. In reality they are still relying on you to be that lighthouse in their lives that helps point them to safety, security and hope.
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