DAB posted this in another forum and I thought it needed broader exposure. I didn't ask his permission to repost it and frankly I don't care--sometimes when someone writes something great, people just need to read it. It belongs to the world at that point. With much thanks to DAB, here it is--his thoughts on parenting:
Well my friend, love them like today will be the last day you will see them and enjoy every day you have. One day you'll wake up and he/she will be a young man or women. I raised my son from 10 years old without a mom, until he went on to college and made a life for himself. There are days when I wish he was just a little boy again because you really do miss them. Oh I see him all the time, but it isn't the same, but I've been blessed because he was a good kid and is an even better young man. We are very close to this day.
I remember New Years Eve a couple of years ago we had a party. My son did a toast and he said to my Dad, he was so hard on me at times and it is only now that I realize that because he loved me so much that he pushed me to be the best that I could be. He said when his mom died that he was so lonely and lost, but day by day we both got through it. He said my dad is not only my father but has been my best friend all my life. I do not have the words to express the way that made me feel. That night in the quiet of my bedroom as I lay in bed. I found myself crying not feeling sad, but just feeling so, so blessed.
There is only one other time in my life I ever felt that way. It was when my own dad who had lung cancer needed me to take care of him. My son and I practical moved him and my mom. My mom was in early stages of Alzheimer's and my dad was her care taker. So, I cooked meals, cleaned the house, bathed them and took care of them (just like they took care of me when I was a boy). One day while taking my dad to the doctor we were headed back to the car and he was weak. He was in wheel chair and I rolled to the door of the car. My dad being so independent decided he'd lift himself up out of the chair and into the car without my help. Suddenly I could see he wasn't going to make it. So I literarily through myself under him to prevent him from hitting the ground. I slowly lifted him up and put him in the seat. Suddenly I looked into his eyes filled with tears and so sincere, he said "Son I don't know what I'd do without you?" Let me tell you it took everything in my body to stop from busting inyo tears. Later as I thought about I felt so good that this dear old man that brought me into this world and did his best in every aspect of being a father, no he he wasn't perfect but he always put his family first in everything. He loved my mother and my mother loved him. I don't think ever met a man and women that loved like them. So, I had some great examples in my life. We lived a simple life, but it was so good. I am so glad that my son got to experience that.
I guess my point is that I just tried to be the best dad that I could be and I wasn't always the best. So, you'll make mistakes a long the way and your kids will get mad at you when you push them to do better. Ultimately though one day they will realize it. I just pray you are as blessed as I have been to have the type of relationship that your child one day will feel that you have not only been a father, but their friend too.