If Daddy is in the house, he can teach the child how to take care of his spouse and his children in all circumstances, even in times of illness and when the money is short. I saw my father work hard. I saw him always working extra to make ends meet. In the end he stayed with my mother fi fty one years before he died. They took care of each other after the years of taking care of us children was over. This month I have been with my wife 47 years and hoping to catch up and pass my father’s 51 year record.
Whether I have passed the test is kind of up to my family -- my three boys and seven grandchildren. In a sense the test results is also up to me as to whether they have had their needs met in terms of the economics of their lives and their social and educational results. One gratifying test result came this past weekend when my fi fteen year old grandson told me that he had done a term paper with the subject being to write a paper on someone who has positively infl uenced your life. I was pleasantly surprised when he told me he wrote about me, his grandfather. I haven’t read it yet but I’m proud of the thought since, to the best of my knowledge, I have not set any bad examples for him.
On the mantle in my offi ce is a picture of me and my now sixteen year old granddaughter which say’s “No. One Grandfather” I’ll take that also as a confi rmation that I’ve done a good job. As for my own measuring results, the grandchildren, though still young, have stayed out of legal trouble, respect their parents, have good grades, and seem to be headed to college. This is also a testament to their fathers, my sons.
This brings me to another thing and that is whether the kids like me. I think that my children and grandchildren like me, but what is more important is that I believe that they respect me. I recently heard at our annual Christmas Eve family gathering that one of my sons who remembers me as being too strict say that I have been a major infl uence on his life. Now that he has children, he understands why I was strict. I was strict because children don’t know what the right decisions in life are, and they make the wrong decisions because they make decisions based on what feels best. What feel’s best is often behavior that mocks their peers behavior. That is a bad measuring stick.
As for models, I feel that my sons have also embraced the old time way, since it works.