Monday, June 20, 2011

Celebrating The Fathers in My Life

Mothers are probably the first parent to make an impression in a child's memory.  A mother's face is the one an infant sees in the wee hours of the morning for those two a.m. feedings and the numerous diaper changes, and just holding them when they cry and no one is really sure what's wrong.  But the importance of fathers in our lives should never be overlooked.  They have such an impact on forming our character.  Just as a mother is necessary for the things she gives to her child, so, too, is a father.  Sometimes for unavoidable reasons, one parent winds up having to be both mother and father to a child, and oftentimes they do a wonderful job.  But I am so thankful that our son has had two parents in his life, because I freely admit, I could not have raised our son to be the young man that he is without the help and partnership of his father, my husband.  My husband had a good role model in his father, and again, that is one of the most important roles of being a father -- teaching your sons how to be good citizens, good husbands and good fathers.

So I would like to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to my father, to my father-in-law, and to Mr. Forest Manor, my wonderful husband.  Our son has had three good male examples to follow in his life, and all have contributed to molding him into the person he is and the person he will become in the future.  My father and my husband's father worked very hard to provide for their families.  Because of them, we were able to grow up in a nice home; enjoy good family times, learn the value of hard work and honesty; and receive a good education.  We were taken to church so that we could learn about God, and for this, my husband and I are thankful.  I have heard it said that the two most important things a parent can give their child is roots and wings.  Our parents gave us both.

But we mustn't forget the little things that really made a difference in our lives.  My father taught me to love and appreciate animals and what they add to our lives.  We always had pets growing up -- dogs, gerbils, a cat, and even horses.  The times he wasn't working or going to school, he was spending with family.  My father-in-law also loves animals.  My husband and his brother had dogs when they were growing up, and my father-in-law still talks about them.  He is also an avid bird watcher, and can identify so many different kinds of birds, that he has inspired me to be interested in them too.  He also taught his sons the importance of hard work and putting family first.  Our fathers were good enough to attend our son's piano recitals and in later years, his school band concerts and marching band performances.  In my opinion, grandparents are to be highly commended for their patience and dedication in sitting through what can often be long performances.  Whether it was our nieces' cheer leading performances, dance recitals, our nephews' little league games, or our son's scout ceremonies and music recitals/concerts, they were always there.  We can never thank you enough for all you have done and continue to do for us.

And to my husband and the father of our son, I thank you with all my heart.  The example you set for our son always makes my heart swell with pride.  You hiked and camped and slept in tents with our son when he was a young scout.  When he was in high school, you taught merit badge classes in his scout troop, again setting an example by giving of yourself to benefit all the boys in our troop.  And through four years of high school marching band and concert band, you attended concerts and football games and took pictures and made videos of the performances.  You posted pictures online to share with all the other band parents.  You taught our son how to work with tools when the two of you finished a room in our basement; you taught him how to do basic maintenance on his car, and you taught him the importance of getting a good education.  And you taught, by example, the importance of respecting others.

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy, to my very nice father-in-law, and to my wonderful husband!  I love you all!

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