In my experience as a Dad, being a person is the first thing a Dad can teach kids. Showing kids that you're a person, and not some kind of demi-god, is good for their self-esteem. When I correct them, they know it's because I love them and not because I'm "Mr. Perfect" who judges them.
But being a Dad does something more than meets the eye. It reminds you that, not a long long time ago and not in a galaxy far far away, you were a child once. Oftentimes, you see yourself vividly in your kids. Sometimes that's amusing. Sometimes it's frightening. Oftentimes it's enlightening.
The poem by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) may explain the point better than I can:
We had a passionate discussion in our English literature class back in high school. It focused on the seventh line above--The Child is father of the Man. That discussion stuck in my psyche til now.MY HEART LEAPS UP
My heart leaps up when I beholdA rainbow in the sky:So was it when my life began;So is it now I am a man;So be it when I shall grow old,Or let me die!The Child is father of the Man;I could wish my days to beBound each to each by natural piety.
Who we are now is a product of how we've been formed as kids. That's true for everyone, including Dads who were boys once.
The Family is a universal passion. It has a special place in the heart of every culture. I dedicate this blog to all Dads and would-be Dads around the world.
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