Friday, December 2, 2011

Windbreaker Dad

I am so proud to post today's Common Sense Dad post.  It is written by one of the coolest guys I know!  Jerry is the father of one little boy with another little dude, Liam, due in about six weeks!  I have so enjoyed watching them figure out this world of parenthood with a completely hands on and practical approach.  They just have that natural knack for being parents...without all of the drama.

Jerry is quite the funny guy so prepare to laugh!


As the due date approached for my first son, Roman, I realized I was about to be thrust into parenthood with no idea what would be demanded of me. I began asking trusted men in my life what fatherhood was like and what advice they would give to a rookie like me. The broad scope of answers surprised me – be sure to make time for your kids – trust your instincts – don’t coddle them - just let your wife do all the work – make a financial plan – buy a minivan – don’t leave the house without pants on…ok, that last one was something my wife actually taught ME, but it can apply to kids, too! All this advice, but if someone were to ask me the same question today, I would first laugh because I wouldn’t feel equipped enough to answer (as I’m sure some of the men I asked thought), but then I would really think about the question.After all, the guy would be standing in front of me waiting for me to respond…so I would have to make up intelligently communicate something!
I think the best advice I can give about being a dad is…own it. Let me explain what I mean by this. I see so many cases where dads either aren’t in the picture, or they more closely represent the blurry, half-cut-off guy at the edge of the frame that the camera isn’t focused on. In an age that makes heroes of couch potatoes, video game addicts, and the extended childhood of young adult men, (think grandma’s boy or John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers), the idea of what a real man is like has seemingly faded away like windbreakers - You see one every once in a while and you’re like, “What? Who even MAKES those things anymore?” They’re so distinct they catch your attention. But so do great Dads.

I want to be a windbreaker Dad. I want to walk down the street looking like a complete idiot because I let my son dress me for the day in a baseball hat, sports coat, mesh t-shirt, and spandex biker shorts (it’s better if you don’t ask that question you’re asking yourself right now). I want to have people whisper to each other while watching Roman and I play together in the water fountains at the mall. I want other parents to get annoyed at me when I cheer on Roman at his little league baseball games by screaming and making donkey call noises (thanks, Dad). After all, what’s the point of being a Dad if you’re not going to teach your son to stop caring about what other people think about you and do what you love with everything you are? Own it.God demands we do no less in Col. 3:23.

I know many dads out there who would rather put their kids in front of a TV to occupy them, or will let their child play with whatever they want in the house because it takes more work to discipline them than it does to just let them do was they wish. They do this because it’s easy. Easy….that’s a deceitful word. It’s a word that ensnares us men. The problem with taking the easy way out is it is most often the less beneficial to your child. Owning fatherhood takes work. It’s not easy. I don’t think God meant for it to be. It isn’t for Him. You have to make the choice to do what takes work because it’s what is right and is what will make your children grow into strong, loving, and healthy adults. They need to see you down out in the grass, rolling around, tossing them up in the air. That’s not always easy, though. But then again, wearing a windbreaker isn’t either.

1 comment:

  1. Aww. Great post, Jerry. Roman and Liam are lucky little boys.


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