The First Thing

April 10th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

You know that horrific hypothetical scenario in which a person is caught in a tragic situation with only enough time and resources to save one of two drowning loved ones? You know that thing we’ve all thought about in our moment of morbid soul sifting? Well, put a child in that scenario on the dock, holding the floatation instrument, that child will not give it a moment’s thought before tossing that styrofoam donut toward … you guessed it, Mom. That’s right., Dad goes down. As well he should. A child loves his/her Mom. It’s just the way it is, man. It’s not personal. Not that they don’t love you; it’s just that they don’t love anything, anyone more than Mom.

A generalization. Yes. But also generally true. It stands to reason then that the first thing in fatherhood is loving the Mom. I think things are way more connected than we’d like to believe. As much as we’d like to fragment our lives and deal with them in pieces as they best suit us, life just doesn’t seem to work like that. Tell a child, “I really can’t stand your mom, but remember, I love you.” That child, if he/she could, would say, “That’s dumb dad.” They may not know exactly how, and they may not yet possess the ability to articulate the reasons why, but they know something’s wrong with that statement.

Some of us are thinking, “That’s a rough one.” The first thing is the thing that can’t be done. I get that. I don’t know your situation – in no position to pass judgement. And yet, I didn’t start writing to say “It’s all good.” You don’t need to look far to know, it’s not all good. And c’mon, you don’t want me to just tell you what you want to hear. Unless you want to hear the truth. Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear. “Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that … well, alright then.”

Want to love your kids well? The first thing: Love their Mom. Do right by her.


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