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Father’s Day: The Next Generation

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there

This Father’s Day seems very different to me, because in about a week I will be a Grandpa.  I wasn’t expecting to have a grandchild so soon, but that’s the way life works sometimes.  One day, you are holding a baby in your arms.  The next day, that baby is all grown up and having a child of their own.

Sharing Father’s Day

Aaron and Brooklyn

Aaron and Brooklyn

My first thought is that for the first time since my Dad passed away, it isn’t just all about me.  Father’s Day is now a shared experience between me and my son.  We are both Dads.  He doesn’t feel it yet, because his daughter hasn’t been born, but I feel it.  And, I told him, “This is your first Father’s Day.”  He was quick to disagree, but resistance is futile.  His life has already been changed by the daughter that hasn’t arrived.  He’s a Dad and there is no denying it.  There are diapers, joggers, car seats  and playpens waiting for the child to come.  There are baby showers, plans for the new kid and tons of overtime to pay the bills.  I am just watching it all and it reminds me of myself 25 years ago.  I stepped up to the challenge of fatherhood and it has only starting to fade for me.  It is only beginning for my son.   Years of happy times and sleepless nights await.  I have always known my son would be a great father and here is his opportunity to prove me right.

Letting Go of the Reins

My next thought is a huge sense of relief as my kids have both moved out and a weight of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders.  All of the sudden, I am a passive Dad.  My days of being the provider and disciplinarian are over.  My children are on their own life adventure and I get to sit back and watch with admiration.  It’s a role I have looked forward to and now cherish.  It is time for me to let go of the reins and for them to chart their own paths.  It is time for me to spoil some grand kids and reconnect with my wife.  I am on the outside looking in.  My son is front and center, with the future staring him right in the face.

Paying it Forward

I have written many times about the amazing parenting I have received and now is my time to pay it forward.  As I stand on the shoulders of giants, I now have the wisdom and experience to affect the lives of my kids and grand kids in a truly meaningful way.  I love the thought of being a resource and a mentor.

Check Out: What I learned from my Two Dads

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Father’s Day is a lot more than just a day to spend with your kids.  It’s a day to reflect on what you have done for your family.  Success and failure take on an entirely new meaning when you consider what you have accomplished and received from a family perspective.

“The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother’s always a Democrat.”

Robert Frost – American Author and Poet

Recommended Reading

Len Penzo – 9 Money Tips Every Dad should Teach his Kids
Balance Junkie – Teaching Kids About Credit
Krant Cents – Congratulations Class of 2013, Now What?

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