Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…

Yeah, I realize I’m a couple of days late on sending out Christmas cards, or maybe I’m really early with my 2015 ones…

This year I hope that you had a great time with friends and family.  I know that for some, this Christmas and the entire holiday season was bittersweet.  Maybe you lost a loved one this year, maybe it’s been a few years without them and this time of year brings back memories, that are hard to deal with.  But now is the time to take comfort in the fact that they are in a better place, they are free from the pain and sicknesses that they were dealing with here.  It sucks for us, and I mean really sucks anytime we lose a loved one.

This is why as much as you can spend real-time with your loved ones.  An I ❤ U, text isn’t the same as taking 5 minutes out of your day to pick up the phone and call somebody to see how their day was and tell them that you are thinking about them.  Take some time also this Holiday season to think about how blessed you are and what you can do for someone else.  Little things that we can change in us, can change things for someone else.  Add an extra $5 or $10 to the tip at the restaurant, pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, buy a gift card for the person behind you in line at the store and just tell the cashier to use it.  It can take 30 seconds to change someones day, don’t do it to make you feel better, think about how you would feel rolling up to the Starbucks window and your order had already been taken care of.  Now pass that feeling along…

Make this a pay it forward Holiday, and see how it feels to give and not receive.  Take time out to spend with your kids, spouse, family, and friends.  Put away the electronics, and spend real-time together.  Your email will be there later, that Facebook post will be readable later, that tweet will be there later, that Pinterest pin will be on 5,000 other boards too.

Kids say the darndest things…

It’s very true that our kids say the darndest, most brutally honest things, they get it from somewhere.  Everything our kids do, they have learned it some place, from someone, somehow.  A number of the things that they pick up, we don’t really mind, but it isn’t always the good things they pick up on.

Our kids look to us for what to do in social interactions and in all situations.  Face it, you talk to your friends and co-workers completely different than you do around your house with your family and children, well maybe.  None of us really think about some of the things we say or do, until they are repeated or done by our kids.  There are so many kid’s today that are constantly in trouble, either at school or even the police, because of poor guidance or honestly a lack there of.

We have to guide our kids in the right ways try our hardest to keep them from doing just really stupid things.  I mean yes there is a fine line from being an over-protective parent, a controlling parent, and a crazy, but that is part of being a parent.  Face it, as a parent you are to be a parent not your child’s friend.  Now don’t get me wrong, you need to be there for your children, but being the cool parent, isn’t always going to be the best thing for your kids.  Now I’m not saying that I’m “World’s Greatest Dad” and should teach classes on how to be a father, but sometimes you go somewhere and you just think – I’m not doing so bad a am I…

We all have seen the kids, that make you think I wish they were your kid, or make you want to slap their momma.  Pushing your kids to be respectful to others is one thing, but more than that, we have to push our kids to respect themselves.  Too many kids today are “depressed” but are so privileged they don’t know what to do with themselves.  We have pushed to far into the “everyone did great”, and the everyone gets a trophy mentality that there is no winner.  This is where the problem comes along when these kids grow up and become part of “the real world,”  if something isn’t handed to them, they don’t know what to do.

Let’s push our kids to respect themselves and others.  Let’s push to break our kids of these entitled attitudes.  Start the push from within yourself.  Let you kids see you working hard for what you have and what your family has, teach them the value of money, time, love, and true friendship.  Let’s see our kids change the direction of their generation and our world.

What a difference a Y makes…

It starts 9 months before birth.  In the very formation of your life it is determined if you will someday get the opportunity to be a Father, and even better than that a Dad, and even better than that to be called Daddy.  It is a Y that determines the gender of a baby as it is still forming in the mother’s womb.  But the Y later turns a good name, Dad into a heart melting name Daddy.

We have all seen and or heard the saying that “Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy,” and we all know that this is true.  The difference in the names just feels so much different even though they may refer to the same person.  We also hear the non complementary terms about dads; dead beat dad, absentee dads, estranged father, etc.  Then we hear people talk about single fathers, and stay at home dads, and the praise that goes along with those titles.  But what I want to talk about is what I was blessed to have, what my wife had, a Dad that’s there.

We live in a culture now that the majority of kids are growing up with only one parent or between parents.  Then we also have the families that are “in-tact” but not everyone is present.  A kid needs a dad that is there.  Dads need to be there for their kids, not just show up to things, but put up and shut up where our kids our are involved.

Fist Fish with Papaw
First Fish with Papaw

As I said above, and I have said before, I was very blessed to have a dad that was there for everything.  He was my soccer coach, he was my boss, my teacher, scout leader.  He was there for everything, he taught me how to work with my hands, how to respect people, how to work hard for what you want, and how to be a good dad.  These are all lessons that I could have learned from somewhere or someone else, but he knew it was his job and responsibility.

Mari and Daddy
4 yrs Ago
Mari and Daddy
Last Weekend

And I don’t understand how a man, and I will use the term loosely in this case, can beat, neglect, or just leave their kids.  The first time that my daughter said daddy, actually the first time I held her, I knew that I had something special.  You other dads can’t tell me that when one of your kids says, Daddy jump please, you don’t say how high and how many times.  Now I’m not saying its good to let the kids control things, but it’s just something about the “Daddy, …” along with a look that can make the hardest man melt.  When a child says “Dad..” it doesn’t carry the same weight.  It’s the Y that gets added to it, and makes the whole difference.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there.  Enjoy the day and enjoy your kids.