Dr. Donald E. Grant is grateful for the ways in which his son is teaching him to be a man.
When I reflect on this past year, I am bombarded by the remnants of turbulent times. One that stares back at me and challenges even the strongest sense of self. Broken bones, sudden career transitions, family deaths and extraordinary efforts rewarded by lack luster outcomes. With all of this year’s “woe is me moments”, there is one thing that has maintained unmatched consistency; my son smiles every time he sees me. No matter how I perform as an employee, as a husband or as a human, he is always happy to see my face.
As I watch him grow and develop, I realize how much of an impact his presence has on my existence. From him I learn resilience and tenacity. From him I learn unconditional positive regard and the safety not usually discovered inside vulnerability. From my four-year old son, I learn what it truly and authentically means to be a man. As I watch the time, energy and love I pour into him materialize everyday, my heart gains strength, my mind gains acuity and my soul…my soul suddenly becomes relevant.
So during this season of giving thanks, I find myself most thankful for the reciprocal benefits of being a caring, concerned and connected dad. Yes, it is my aim to raise this small handsomely sensitive boy into a strong, distinguished man with great dignity and standards of excellence. Having said that, I do relish the selfish benefits I gain from the honor of being his dad. Today and always, I am thankful for what my son reveals to my soul. He unknowingly forces me to find strength when I am weary and provides me with daily reminders of my own efficacy. I wish every ‘father’ would choose to be a ‘dad’ to experience the grandeur of this role and the rewards the universe offers for such work.
What are you thankful for? Send your submissions – long or very short – to [email protected] – all are welcome!
Also, watch this great Google+ Hangout where Dr. Grant discusses with other dads the importance and challenges of modern fatherhood.