Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Presents and Presence

There are times in life when its focus is not so clear. Even in what is, in comparison and by every measure, a well-ordered life, sometimes it isn’t as “hands-on,” as proactive or profound as it is automatic. Indeed, even when all seems right in the world - or at least in my world - the real essence of life almost becomes a dubious luxury. And then in the midst of it, when all is both fine and dandy, when everything is going just swimmingly, it hits me.

There is so much more.

I don’t want to sit here and devalue “the good life;” if anyone has reason to be grateful, it is I. The lack of chaos, the elimination of drama and the general peace in my life are all very much, and often, appreciated. It hasn’t been that long - I didn’t forget what it used to be like. But there are moments that make it clear that as good as everything is, there is way more and in my zest to acknowledge and appreciate all that has changed, there are the little things that make it all so much better.

Recently, I have been a solid presence in not one, not two, but all three of my boys’ lives. And as I have recently written here, at 23, 20 and 18, they are all legal adults now. I guess that it is true that I am always there and equally true that I have always tried to do my best by them, but right now - all at once - I feel as though my aid is being sought out, appreciated and needed. A small part is financial, but it’s not the money but what it is doing - and money is a very small piece of the picture. My kids are starting to become self-realized and it is my strength they are drawing from.

And in these past several days, in what is really only a series of moments, I have made a profound difference in their lives simply by being their father. It isn’t really about what I know, or some “Father Knows Best” wisdom, or that I might be able to get them over a financial hump… it’s about my being present in their lives. I am there no matter what and they know it. More importantly, I know it. And that is a very good feeling. It’s better than all the external validation in the world. There are only three men whose respect means so much to me - and they all call me Dad.

10 comments:

kenju said...

The world would be a much better place if every father knew that. Your kids benefit from having you in their lives - and so do you.

jsdaughter said...

The best job in the world- being a parent. It sounds like you are doing your job very well....
Michele sent me tonight.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Seems like it's "Kids Day" here as usual, even tho they're grown!

It's a grand feeling when you're certain it's the best unplanned thing you've ever accomplished or could've hoped for. Being there is proven to be everything, right next to setting an example to follow.

It's the kids who don't feel important to their parent(s) who seek out the wrong path to travel. I've found even lending a caring personal attitude to kids outside blood ties makes a big difference in who they seek to become later.

Bob-kat said...

That really is great. That is how families should be.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Mike,

Thank you for this post. You revelations help me exactly when they are supposed to do so.

Hope you are well.

Theo said...

this post gives me hope, and fear. such treasures cannot be captured, but must be freely given.

Perplexio said...

There's a lot to be said for positive male role models in the lives of children. I believe that for far too long the importance of this has been downplayed by a rather outspoken feminist culture. I'm always happy to read positive examples of fatherhood. I'm not a father yet but I do believe that my own father's very positive influence on my life will be an excellent example for which to raise my own children with when that time comes.

Keep up the good work on the "Dad" front! The world would be a better place with more good dads like yourself out there.

Dak-Ind said...

ya know, i just went through this reversed with my mom. my life is so much better just because she is my mom. i am 33 years old, and i can still call my mom and that makes it all better. parenting never ends!

utenzi said...

Just dropped by to look in on you, Michael. Call it curiosity...

flleenie said...

I believe the most precious gifts we can give our children is our time, knowledge & love.

It sounds like you have obviously done your job.