Founder of The Good Dad Project Larry Hagner thought he was teaching his son … but here’s what he learned.
You came along in my life six years ago. I still remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I have always been told that time flies when you have your own kids, and that statement is a very true reality.
As a father I am supposed to guide you, teach you, and point you in the right direction. I have tried to instill manners, character, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.
You probably don’t know this, but you have taught me more in the past six years than I have taught you.
You have taught me to love without conditions:
In every relationship I have ever had, there were always “deal breakers.” In every relationship I have ever had, there was something I did or something that was done to me that would end a relationship. When it comes to you, my love for you is unconditional. There is literally nothing you could ever do that would make me love or support you any less. I may get frustrated with some of your decisions from time to time, but it is only because I don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed.
You have taught me to strive to be better than I was yesterday:
I know you learn best by the examples you see in front of you every day. Knowing that has forced me to strive to be my best. There are days I struggle. There are days that I am not my best. However, knowing you are there always watching, always learning, always observing, it forces me to keep striving to be better.
You have taught me that grades are important, but learning how to think and make decisions are critical.
Grades are important. Good grades are critical if you want to excel and get into a good college. However, school is more than just grades. School teaches you to think. It teaches you how to make decisions. It is an environment that forces you to grow both intellectually and socially. Our society puts a lot emphasis on grades. However, learning to think and make critical decisions are extremely important in all areas of your life.
You have taught me what it’s like being a kid again:
One of the most rewarding aspects about being your Dad is being able to watch you grow up. I have been able to relive my childhood all over again just by watching you. You have taught me how to play again. You have taught me the importance of quality time together.
Son, whether you know it or not, you truly are my inspiration. I am so thankful for everything you have taught me. Watching you, guiding you, and being a part of your life has truly been the best six years of my life.
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Originally published on The Good Dad Project
Photos courtesy of author