I’ve watched two movies in recent times about the relationship between a son and his dad. The first movie, the Judge, was possibly one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s an arm wrestle of wills between a dad and his son, and truly, something I think you ought to watch.
This will be a short blog, and I think I’ll cut right to the chase.
I think everyone has a dad-shaped hole. Something inside of them that’s just YEARNING for the love, acceptance and pride of their dad. I can’t speak for girls, but I certainly know it’s true for boys.
It’s this inbuilt gauge, a compass, a guiding force. Your mum will always love you, but your dad – that’s a different kettle of fish all together.
It’s in a three year old, pushing his toy lawnmower behind his daddy as he cuts the cuts the grass in front of him.
It’s in the eight year old, proudly showing his science experiment, longing to know that his dad thinks its cool.
It’s in the twelve year old, hoping that his dad will tell him these changes he’s experiencing are normal.
It’s in the fifteen year old, wondering if he’s tough enough to beat his dad in football.
It’s in the seventeen year old, hoping his dad is proud that he got his licence.
It’s in the 21 year old, aching to know his dad is there for graduation.
It’s in the 25 year old, bringing the girl he hopes to marry home, hoping his dad approves.
It’s in the 27 year old, standing at the alter, watching his mum cry, but looking for that silent nod of approval from his dad.
It’s in the 28 year old, walking his dad through his first new house, telling him of the DIY jobs he already has planned.
It’s in the 29 year old, handing his dad his grandchild, beaming with pride.
It’s in the 30 year old, just wanting to bounce ideas off his dad about this whole crazy idea about being married.
It’s in the 33 year old, needing his dads advice on whether or not to take that job interstate.
It’s in the 40 year old, just racking his brains about this whole life thing, trying desperately to hold onto something strong
It’s in the 50 year old, catching a glimpse of the joy his dad had when he had his first grandchild
It’s in the 60 year old, wondering how he would carry the family legacy, now his dad has gone
It’s in those silent moments of fishing together. Wrestling through an idea together. Arguing over who’s boss, like lions fighting for command of the pride. It’s in that moment, when a son knows his dad went hammer and tooth, never giving up, never giving in, even when, in retrospect, things weren’t that good.
Dads, your sons need you. They need you when they are infants. They need you when they are boys. They need you when they are teenagers and they need you when they are young adults. They need you as they journey through life.
I’ve said it before, but being a dad is not a passive activity. It’s something you journey through. At first, you are teaching your son, mentoring him, guiding him. You walk with him, are in the trenches with him, are side by side with him. Finally, he will walk with you. He will be by your side, being your strength, the joy that carries you along.
Dads, don’t be shy in showing your boys love, pride, discipline and guidance. Your boys are aching for it.
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