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A Boy and His Dad…

As a boy, one does not comprehend the magnitude and enormity of love a dad has for his son. Countless times, the boy takes for granted the quiet sacrifices the dad endures for the family. The many times the dad has worked all night, only to come home, have breakfast and go on to a second job. This second, sometimes even a third job was necessary to ensure that there would be enough money to pay the mortgage, and the electric bill, and have food on the table. After working two jobs, how often did this dad come home and pick up his boy to take to baseball practice? While the boy practiced his throwing and catching a ball with a glove purchased at Sears, his dad slept in the car. The boy, unknowingly, lacking the comprehension to understand how tired one must feel after working sixteen hours, thinks nothing of it by waking his dad to drive him home after practice is over. After dinner, the dad showers, then heads off to bed, only to perform the same duties the next day, for the next ten years, all the while not complaining once.

This same dad did not utter a negative thought when his boy needed $7 a week to pay for a snare drum at Jent’s House of Music. Sure, seven dollars a week does not sound like much now, but back then when the dad was earning $1.72 an hour, the boy did not appreciate the sacrifice once again.

This same boy did not understand how much it meant for the dad to see his son graduate high school. Sure, the boy knew the dad only went to school up to the fifth grade. So why was the dad so excited about seeing his son finish high school? What was the big deal, the son wondered. Doesn’t everybody graduate high school nowadays? Imagine how proud this dad was to see his son graduate from college.

Imagine how proudly he bragged about his son to his friends and other hardworking dads. The dad’s heart was so full of joy to see how well his boy was doing. The son again asked himself, why is Dad making a big deal out of this, isn’t this the natural progression of life? Don’t all sons go to grade school, high school, then to college?
Life moved on, and the son got married, and moved away, not thinking very much about how this transition would affect the father. Sure, the dad was teary-eyed watching the U-Haul pull away, but isn’t this what the son is supposed to do? Get a job, get married, and move away? Why was the dad so sad?

For the son, a new adventure awaited him. A new city, a new job, a beautiful young wife, what more could one ask for?

Shortly thereafter, the young wife does not feel well, and a doctor’s appointment is scheduled for her. What? Are you sure? Are you serious? A child is on the way. The young husband is unsure of how to feel, scared, frightened, and worried. Nine months come oh so quickly for the young husband. It is time to go to the hospital to bring forth this new child. The struggle was real for the young husband (not to mention the young wife). After much travail, the new Dad is holding his little girl. This little girl, so tiny, so dependent on the new Dad. This new soul looking to this bewildered young man for protection, provision, and guidance. The teary-eyed new dad is overwhelmed with a new love for his wife and for this new child. Deep within the spirit of this new dad, hidden in the crevices of the mind, a new and an old memory awakens. This new Dad sees His dad in a new light. The light of appreciation, respect, love, admiration, and wonder. Finally, the new Dad, the son, sees clearly, the unspoken lessons, the unselfish actions, the unrecognized gestures, now they all mean something. Does everyone know how special my dad is? Does everyone know how much he loves me, his boy? Does everyone know how this dad taught his son how to become a man? How to become a father? Why doesn’t everyone know how great my dad is?

The new dad sat in the car, waiting for his girls to finish their practice. Without a complaint, the new dad sat proudly, looking at his children perform their dances and marching band routines. This new dad also worked two jobs to provide for his family. The new dad also quietly sacrificed for his daughters, so that they could go to school, a fine university, and graduate school. This time though, it was important for the new Dad. The new Dad was so proud of his girls, they finished college! How proud this dad was, this was important. Why was this not known?
The new Dad’s Dad will turn eighty-five years old this year. Every year, the son, the New Dad, is ever prouder of his dad. The new Dad wants the world to know how wonderful his dad is. When he grows up, the New Dad wants to be just like his dad, the best Dad in the world.

Luis A. Luera, Ed. D.
Fatherhood Advocate / Case Manager