June 16, 2013: Paternal Influences

My mom tells me she sometimes feels like I'm eulogizing her in my blogs. Take it as a compliment, Mom. It's way too easy because you are so awesome. But I will listen (always slow to do so, but it eventually sinks in). My ode to the wonderful dads I admire will be brief and non-specific. Very non-eulogistic...right, Mom?

The sermon at church today centered on the great role of the father. The traits discussed made me think fondly of the dads who have impacted my life. My memories are full of laughter and sharing life with these great men.

But life isn't all smiles. Life is tough. Parenting is tough. Leading by example and doing the right things for the right reasons is not easy.

Delivering the hard messages and being the perceived "bad guy" is many times the paternal cross that dads bear. I have been the recipient on many occasions of messages I didn't want to hear. It took me years, many years, to appreciate the lessons learned. Unconditional support, steady guidance, thoughtful decision-making, and love...gifts from an admirable father.

The paternal influence is many times unappreciated, but a necessity. I often say that moms have an unfair advantage as a parent, simply by being a woman. Men have an uphill battle. They lack that maternal instinct that naturally wraps around a child like a warm blanket. The innate father roles of leadership and discipline many times have the opposite feel for a child.

Although men also share tenderness and love, their dominate parental role can feel adversarial from the perspective of their children. Appreciation comes later in many cases. It is so true that it takes being a parent to fully appreciate your own.

Never underestimate the paternal influence. As a child, I was told that I was smart. I was told that I was special. These words came from paternal influences in my life and were very impactful to me. In reality I was just another girl from small town Iowa. Nothing special really, but I thought I was because I was told this from men who carried weight in my life.

Children listen and see every word and action. I am appreciative to all the great dads in my life and in the lives of my own kids. I am blessed. My kids are blessed with great paternal influences from the Lane family as well.

Happy Father's Day to all the above unmentioned fathers. No eulogies...just a lot of appreciation. XOXOX


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