Like Father, Like Son

Hey Dad,

Remember that old 70’s anti-smoking commercial that coined the phrase, “Like Father, Like Son?” Well, I felt a tinge of that today with my son, Jed (5), and it felt good…and scary.

It started out just like any other day. I was getting dressed and about to grab the first shirt on top when I remembered my wife telling my mom that I always wear what’s on top, which ends up being the same thing over and ove;r so I decided to dig deep and wear something different.

I pulled a blue-striped rugby shirt out and pulled it over my head. Later, I bumped into Jed, and he looked up at me in surprise and beamed a big smile.

“We match!” he said pointing to my shirt. “I’ve got one like that.”

He disappeared and then reappeared a few minutes later, proud as all get out, wearing a shirt almost identical to mine. We took a picture together and my little boy hugged his rugby-clad papa. I could almost hear that soothing narrator’s voice say, “Like father, like son.” It felt good knowing my son wanted to be like me…and then it felt scary knowing my son wanted to be like me.

Father Son

It’s a two-edged sword…and I wield them both. If that doesn’t terrify you, nothing will. But that’s what makes what we do so powerful. That’s why we can’t afford to coast, slack off, or quit. There’s too much riding on it…er…us. Jed needs me to show him how to be a dad, a husband, and a man. Actually, all eight of my children do.

Guess what? So do yours…like father, like…you know.

You ‘da dad,

Todd

PS – Rodney Atkins wrote a great song about this very thing called “Watching You.” Buckle on your country seatbelt.

 

photo credit

You know the NEW saying, “Boys will be…girls??!!”

Hey Dad,

There aren’t many things in the media that get my temperature up because I know that most of what the experts predict, discuss, or preach doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

That said, I feel my temperature rising over an idea that seems to be growing. It’s the thought that: little boys who think they feel like little girls should be nurtured in that thinking.

Boys will be girls?

First, an article was passed on to me by a fellow dad about another dad in Germany (I think) who wore a skirt because his little boy liked to wear dresses and the dad didn’t want to discourage his son from being who he wanted to be.

Some of us have had boys who put on dresses from time to time. My boys have occasionally come up to me with goofy looks on their faces to parade their silly dress-up. I always laughed and then added, “Now go get something else on…boys don’t wear dresses.”

I didn’t make a huge deal out of it, but I also wanted to teach my sons from an early age that God expects ‘men’ to be men. It’s not optional.

Then yesterday, I read in World Magazine (March 23, 2013) that several hospitals in the US offer hormonal treatments for kids questioning their gender. The treatment postpones puberty so that if little Johnny decides he really wants to be a girl, then he won’t have started down the slippery path of ‘maleness’ before it’s too late to alter.

What set my blood boiling is that the story described how a DAD took his 9-year-old son to Chicago for the treatment because his son liked to wear dresses. This may sound like an isolated, far-fetched incident, but it’s a reminder that our society as a whole is working hard to convince us that these gender lines don’t matter.

Dad, it is our job as father to not give our sons the option of being a boy or girl. If God created them as boys, then they ARE boys and our sole purpose as their dad is to help and guide them to be MEN.

So, you make sure your sons dress like men, do men things, and behave as men. It’s not about some legalistic macho stereotype, it’s about training our sons to be dads, husbands, and the men God created them to be.

And I’m telling you, it’s a whole bunch easier to start when they’re little boys than waiting until they’re teenagers.

You ‘da man-dressing-dad,

Todd

It’s No Cake Walk

Hey Dad,

Greetings from vomit-central. I’m typing away on an iPad from my bedroom where my kids, Cal (6) and Maggie (8), have been quarantined and are eating popsicles and watching videos. I’m on duty because my wife doesn’t do body fluids…if she’s forced to she is prone to adding to them.

Up until last night we have been stomach flu-free. All that changed so quickly. And now here we are hoping we’ve stemmed the tide before we have an all out epidemic.

No Cake Walk

That’s just part and parcel of being a dad. It’s always something. Last week it was another something. I ‘caught’ one of my children…or better yet God placed me in his path so he would get caught.

We both knew right away that this was going to be a big deal. He tried to deny it, but I knew he was guilty and so we didn’t give him much room to dig any deeper. It wasn’t one of those things where you can just yell and chastise…it demanded more involvement than that. It required me to talk, probe, understand, and pray. My wife was indispensible and deeply involved as well.

It wasn’t very fun, but we made it through and I find myself so thankful it happened and was uncovered. Still, I hate those times. I would much rather smile though parenting, pop in a video, eat pizza, and have good memories. But that’s not the way fathering works.

Sometimes it’s not much fun…like when you’re emptying another trash can full of puke at 3:30 in the morning. But that’s what being a dad is all about. It’s hard, stinky, messy, and terrible. But our children need us as much when they’re heaving up…stuff, as when they’re caught in sin. It’s why God gave them to us. And in a way…I like it. I like being a dad.

You should too, my fellow father, because you’re doing something big!

You da dad,
Todd

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Not Just a 90’s Thing

Todd and DebbieHey Dad,

Let me just say up front that when I think about the topic, “the Beauty of Christ”, the thought “girly-man topic” crept into my mind. It’s not that I think the beauty of Christ is a girly topic. It’s just that it seems like a touchy-feely, womanish thought, kind of like the idea that my mom used to think her sons hated each other just because we pounded each other–when, in fact, that’s HOW we showed our love.

But being a 90’s kind of guy, I knew I could get in touch with my ‘softer’ side. So I started chewing on the topic and then…it came. The truth is we demonstrate the beauty of Christ when we love our wives OR we fail to demonstrate it when we don’t.

The real beauty of Christ is in the way he sacrificed Himself for his BRIDE even when she (we) did not love Him. Wow. I love that picture, except when I hate it!!! That means that the way I treat and love my wife is way bigger than me and her.

When I love my wife selflessly even when she is crabby and bent out of shape (sometimes it happens), I demonstrate the beauty of Christ to my children. That kind of love gives without expecting. It is patient, long suffering, kind, gentle, and never-ending.

We call it unconditional love and it means…no matter what. Even as I write this, I know I have failed at this lately. I’ve been loving conditionally…in hopes of smiles and warmth in return. That doesn’t show the beauty of Christ, just the selfishness of…ME.

My boys need me to show that kind of love…because one day they’ll need to show that kind of love to their bride. One day their wives will be crabby and bent out of shape and they’ll need husbands who show them the kind of love that Christ demonstrated towards us.

That’s a pretty weighty responsibility…but I’m glad that it has been entrusted to me…and to you, Dad.

Man, I feel like I need to go out and pick flowers or crochet!!!

You ‘da dad,

Todd

Check out Today w/ Todd

Kissing in the New Year

Hey Dad,

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great time with your family over the holiday and are ready to start the New Year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always really thrilled to start a new year … I was just getting used to the old one.

Plus, I’m not the kind of guy who likes to make New Year’s resolutions and goals. Like Mary Poppins said so nicely, “Those are pie crust ‘resolutions,’ easily made and easily broken.”

However, I do have two minor … uh … let’s call them pseudo-resolutions. Here they are:

1) Empty the trash can under the kitchen sink.

2) Kiss my wife more.

parents kissing with onlooking toddler

Photo Credit // The U.S. National Archives on Flickr Commons

I told you they were minor. Actually, they both came about because of conversations with my wife. For one, she told me that she doesn’t like constantly emptying the trash can under the sink. She even hinted that somewhere in the Bible it must say it’s the husband’s responsibility. I’ll have to check on that one. But I decided I’d like to do that for my wife … and at least it’s something small.

The kissing one is something I’m doing for my children. I was shocked the other day when my wife relayed a conversation she had with the kids in which they agreed that they hardly ever see us kiss.

I was tempted to argue the fact and point out that I hug and kiss my wife all the time … okay, some of the time. Then I decided that if that’s their perception, I’m going to change it.

I know how important it is for my kids to see us kiss and hug. It proves that what I say about loving their mom is true. When they see me kissing their mom, they feel secure in our love for each other. Even if we argue and get mad sometimes, kissing shows that our love for each other is strong and lasting.

It’s that powerful.

Now, my wife gets a little skittish about public smooching in front of the kids. She may put up a struggle … but it won’t work, because I’m ‘da dad and that’s part of my training strategy for fathering. And that’s what I’m going to do. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

How about you, dad? Got any minor pseudo-resolutions? You might think about joining me in my quest for public wife-smooching. It’s certainly more fun than emptying the trash can under the kitchen sink.

 

You ‘da dad,

Todd

Todd “The Familyman” Wilson

www.familymanweb.com