Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Biggest Room in the World...

As I continue to lay the groundwork for the discussion of being a dad while searching for manhood, I want to explain some assumptions I will be making.

The number one assumption is that fatherhood is relative. As a father to our kids, and as a friend and husband to our wives, what we do is relative to expectations. The fatherless just want someone around, and those with fathers seek their approval. Single-parent homes want stability, and nuclear families search for excitement. What one father struggles to do for his family, another sees as a minimal requirement.

All that to say this: No matter what you're doing as a father, you can always do more, or be better. After high school football games where my team won 40-0, my step-dad would ask, "What's the biggest room in the world?" The answer to this question is simply, "The room for improvement." Regardless of how much you think you're doing, you can always be doing more.

I don't mean this to imply that no father is ever doing enough. However, the moment we become complacent, we stagnate. How do we expect to help our children grow when we stop growing ourselves? I will not engage in discussions of details. I will not try to determine who does more, or comparative arguments. I strongly believe that we can always do more, not matter what place we are at in life.

Thanks for taking amoment to read this. Please follow along and join the discussion.


  1. I have been a father for twenty three years, and I still don't have all the answers. I love my kids, and sometimes that means being hard on them, because you can see their potential, and you know they have the means to reach it. However sometimes you need to be the rock, which their little bodies need to hold onto so the waves of life don't pull them to the bottom of despair.

    Can a father ever do enough? I was not sure, until my oldest son (who couldn't wait to get out on his own) called me from college, and told me "Dad, You were right."

    I asked him, "About what?"

    He said, "About everything Dad, about everything."

    You see he was listening, watching, observing how I lived my life, and sometimes being a father is just being an example of what you should and should not do. He saw me at my worst, and at my best. Now I can observe him as a father, and I am proud.

    I am not proud because of anything I had done, but because he has grown to be a better man, a better father than I ever was. This is something we should strive for. Make our children better than ourselves, and by doing that, we better our society and our world.

  2. Thank you Thomas, for your comment.

  3. Here is a portion of my blog post entitled "Better than Me", and it is Thomas's words that reminded me....

    Than it occurred to me, what I want for my child, for all my children and what seems to be a universally desirable goal - devoid of parental ego and vicarious gyrations. I simply want my children to be better than me. If I can be part of making that happen, if as a parent I can overcome my shortcomings and dispel my overwhelming doubts and fears, if I can help place in them those things I even do not have and see them flourish beyond my own capabilities and outcomes, I will have been a success.