I am such a proud father! I know, everyone is proud of their kids for the most part, and I am not an exception. With each good grade they bring home, each life lesson I see them learn, each value I see them practice, I want to shout at the rooftops. THAT’S MY KID!
I am by no means a perfect parent, nor were mine. In fact, I even wonder if there is such a thing. I am however, the best parent that I know how to be and I take the time to teach my progeny the values that I hold dear. I share with them my world views and encourage them to understand that this world is theirs to inherit.
I am fortunate that, so far, they all excel in school, they all have a musical interest and are engaged in athletics. Save for the youngest two of my four who are in elementary school, but they have no lack of energy, thats for sure. I have 3 caring boys and a beautiful daughter which make me more prideful each day. The eldest of which being my stepson.
Raising my kids RIGHT, is one of my most serious challenges as a parent. With the public school systems and educators filling their heads with leftist think not to mention the influence of their peers and television, I know that I must clearly articulate to them why I believe what I do. Hopefully, and with a little luck, they will be able to disseminate the right from the wrong and come to make good decisions, now and in their adult life.
I want to share a story with you about each from my pride, and the political and patriotic lessons my kids have learned and have in turn made me proud to be raising my kids RIGHT.
For a five year old, my youngest is so in touch with the world around him. It never ceases to amaze me the questions he asks about the president, the war, and things military. He is also an avid little astronomer, which is also dear to my heart. He never fails to point out every house that flies their American flag and where each one is in town, or on cars. He loves the Stars and Stripes!
A while back I had set my profile song to “Don’t Tread on Me” by Metallica. He apparently liked the song and I started to hear him sing along. He likes to sing. After hearing it a few more times he stated asking me about what the words mean and about specific verses. In my “fatherly way” I told him that it is a song about when our country rose up against Britain and fought for our right to be free. I told him that it was about our Independence. Now he can’t get enough of the song. Whenever he can, he asks me to play the “American Independence song”. As he sings the lines in the verses, I know that he has (at least a small) understanding, that the fighting that the song portrays is about what it means to be a proud strong American that will never back down from our enemies.
The US Army will be proud to have my next “Army of One”. He is 9 years old now and already I think that he will be in the Special Forces. He crawls around on his belly in his camos, chasing imaginary enemies, and saving America from “the bad guys”. I’m not really sure he understands just yet who exactly the “bad guys” are, but there is no doubt that as he becomes of age he will grasp the idea why sometimes our nation needs to be at war.
The other day upon arriving home from work I was told that the babysitter upset him. They were teasing him about his “political” affiliations. Obviously, my sitters don’t share the same views of our president as we do in our home. Anybody know any good conservative babysitters? He was upset over the fact that they were saying that Bush is not a good president and that we should not be in Iraq. He defended his position adamantly in the face of getting a certain timeout. Just kidding there, but he made me proud once again, to hear that he was yelling at the babysitters “Bush is our president! You should not be talking about our president like that!” and following up with, “I’m telling my dad you guys are liberals!” Of course, he was talked to about the show of disrespect, but I secretly rewarded him with a late night cartoon for his support of our president.
The apple of my eye, my daughter is. She is 13 years old going on 17. Sheesh! A father’s work is never done. It may sound sexist, but of all my kids I want to make sure understands conservative values the most. She is the one I am worried about coming home one day with a pierced tongue or that new “stripper tattoo” when she is 16. She hasn’t given me any indication as of yet, that she would. I guess it’s just one of this father’s deepest fears.
Yet, for all her naiveté, she is the best student and by far, and has the smarts to know right from wrong. She asked me a few weeks ago, “Dad, what is your position on immigration?” “Uh, oh” I thought, “What are they teaching her now?” So I asked why she was asking. She informed me that it was a discussion in school and that they were discussing both sides of the issue. Of course, I thought that this may be a subject that is not appropriate for middle schoolers her age, but now that the subject was brought up we need to discuss it.
She listened attentively, albeit bored I’m sure, to why I believe that we should not grant amnesty and our need for more strict immigration laws and protections. I told her that about how the leaders we elect, including Bush, are just trying to get more votes by pandering to these illegal immigrants. I helped her understand the impact that illegals have on our society in terms of taxes, healthcare, education, and employment. I think I may have put my poor baby girl asleep that evening with what I am sure sounded like a lecture, but I had to make sure that she understood that it has nothing to do with racism, as there is a fairly high population of Latinos in her school, but rather that illegal immigration is just that, illegal. “She doesn’t get it!” I thought, as after our conversation she said, “Dad, I think immigration is a good thing, all different people living together has to be good”. I was soon proved wrong when she said, “But, I don’t think its fair that people come to our country when it’s against the law. They take our jobs and our tax money and make it worse for the ones who come here the right way. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it. I thought for sure, she just blocked it all out. Then she says this. I felt so good about this lesson learned. I felt confident that she would be able to intelligently share her position with others, without being called the typical “racist”, as the left so often likes to label anti-illegal immigration supporters.
Finally let me tell you about my step-son. He is nearly 16 years old and has his driving permit. Talk about nerve-racking. He isa far better and more responsible young man than I ever was at his age. I am blessed to have him as part of my family and even more blessed that his father and I agree on most things involving his upbringing. It’s too bad the mother of my own children is not in the picture, and never would have been nearly as amicable if she were. His mother is also the mother of my youngest and I am convinced that the intelligence gene is passed through the female. Don’t get me wrong, my children all have their strengths and weaknesses and they all are very well rounded. For what my eldest and youngest have in brains and common sense, mine from my first wife have her love and talent for the arts and philosophy not to mention her good looks. Well, maybe those are my good looks, lol.
My oldest informs me, the other day, that he will be old enough to vote in the next presidential election. He said he will most likely be voting for a republican president because he thinks they run the country best. He then asks me who I will be voting for in the election in November. I was a bit taken aback. Now, we have talked about politics and the war on terror and so forth before, but I had no idea he was interested in the actual candidates. Well, as it turns out he is just like any typical high school boy. When I asked him about his sudden interest in elections, he tells me that he has been discussing the issues and candidates with a girl he sits with at lunch. A “Republican Girl”! HA, that’s my boy! He has ulterior motives, I know it. He gets that silly bashful smile on his face and I see that he is smitten. I decided to question his understanding about what issues are important this election, just to make sure he’s just not saying things to impress some girl he likes. It was no surprise that he was well informed. He told me he would vote for politicians that won’t raise taxes, are tough on terrorists, will finish this war, protect our country, and tough on illegal immigration. He said that he is in support social security reform and says that he thinks the government needs to stay out of peoples pockets with their stupid welfare and is against affirmative action programs. I was impressed to say the least. Here it is, nearly 10 years since I first met my stepson. He used to be the kid of whose mom I was dating. Now he has become a fine young man, maturing, and making good life decisions that I can say that I was partly responsible for. He is becoming the type of person I pray all my children become and I am proud to be his “other” dad.
Each and every one of my kids makes me proud. I am Proud to be a father and proud to be American. I am raising my kids RIGHT because it is the RIGHT way to raise my kids.