Picture the scene: Boys and their parents gathered to discuss a “youthful indiscretion” and its consequences. I was once at such a meeting, and I was struck by the thought that what America needs perhaps more than anything else is fathers who will father.
I’m the mother of two teenage boys, and believe me, I am well acquainted with the behaviors that have led to the popular phrase “boys will be boys.” But I am also blessed to know what it means to my sons’ development and character for them to have a father who holds them accountable, is engaged in their lives, and is intimately familiar with their strengths, weaknesses, personalities and individual needs.
On that particular evening, several parents had heavy hearts. Their sons, with no ill intent, had landed in trouble by making some pretty sophomoric decisions (specifically, entering a nearby abandoned house). Sounds pretty innocuous -- except that there were “No trespassing” signs posted in clear view. But that incident (thank goodness, now but a memory) ended up being a lesson in life for the boys -- a lesson that will undoubtedly help them avoid making bigger mistakes later in life. Why? Because their fathers stepped in to make certain that the lessons were learned.
That’s the kind of father my sons have. This month, my husband and I celebrate 21 years of marriage, and I consider myself one of the luckiest wives on earth. My husband is my hero (for many reasons which shall remain private!) but one I am willing to discuss is the fact that he’s an amazing father to our three children.
I recently had the privilege of watching my eldest son become an Eagle Scout. I peeked my head around the corner just in time to hear the District Council representative of the Boy Scouts say to my son, “Congratulations. Your rank of Eagle Scout begins tonight.”
About 30 minutes earlier, Drew had emerged from his hour-long Eagle Scout Board of Review both relieved and nervous. Although the official ceremony will take place in the coming months, for Drew the night was the final requirement of nearly a decade of achieving goals, working hard, earning merit badges, volunteering and developing leadership skills. For me, it was a night to reflect both on the man that Drew has become, and on the man that helped him accomplish one of the greatest achievements possible for young men.
I am proud of my son, but I am absolutely enamored with my amazing husband.
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