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A Father's Thoughts

Updated on August 3, 2012

With the full moon shining the way, Jacob quietly opened the back door and stepped out into the cool night air. A chorus of crickets chirped in unison as he walked out to his favorite spot in the modest fenced-in backyard. The neighborhood was silent, only a few windows were illuminated with the strobe light activity of the television.

He stretched out on top of the picnic table with only his thoughts as company. Here there were no beeps and hums of household appliances, only his mind, free to wander under the vast starlit sky above.

He took a deep breath; there was much on his mind as the busy days and hectic nights made sleep a rare occurrence. Sure there were financial issues, but recently he was troubled by the future and the unknown. This world, or more accurately, the people in this world were what kept his eyes open in bed. Where were things headed?

These thoughts and worries were new to him. Jacob was at that age where he was no longer a young man, nor was he old. Feelings of mortality had crept into his head, slow at first, but nesting as if preparing for a long winter that lie ahead.

As a child, Jacob had always thought there would be a moment when he would suddenly become an adult. He would wake up one morning and be wise, not through experience, but rather as a gift for reaching a certain age. He would wear glasses when he read the newspaper, suddenly have a taste for coffee, and maybe even carry a briefcase of some sort containing important papers that were read by other adults. Now at 35, Jacob sometimes felt as if he was still waiting.

Jacob looked at the constellations, wondering why he hadn't spent more time looking at them as a child. Overall, he was happy with how things were turning out. Inside, his wife of five years was fast asleep as was their 1 year old son. He turned his head, glancing at the house; the dark windows reflecting the moonlight. There was much to be thankful for, everyone was healthy, he and his wife were both gainfully employed, they lived in a house that although was in need of some major updates, they both loved.

His outlook towards life had changed, there were three of them now, a child who was growing at that very moment, rapidly forming words and thoughts of his own. He would soon go off to school with other kids, and fend for himself. He would grow up in a world that was changing drastically from one year to the next.

There was the economy which seemed unable to find its way out of a slump, everything was being cut. He looked at the moon, what if his son wanted to be an astronaut?

He felt so small under the stars, there was so much that was out of his control. He thought about the angry mobs of teenagers robbing stores and beating those who confronted them, the deranged man that shot innocent people at the movie theatre, the back and forth political bickering, which did nothing to help the country, a country so torn apart that it fought over what to have for lunch. Another deep breath, he listened to the crickets.

Through the peaceful sound of the night he began to relax. He thought about his father, and how he had always felt safe as a child. He thought back to events of his childhood, but now from a father’s perspective. Growing up, there were tragedies, there was murder, and there was chaos, just not in his home. His father had not just shielded him from calamity; he had guided him through it while teaching him right from wrong, not only through words but by example.

A flash caught his eye, shooting across the midnight sky. Jacob sat up, resting his elbows on his knees. He thought about how far he had come over the years, how he had grown as a person. He didn't wear glasses, wasn't a big coffee drinker, and still had no use for a briefcase, but he was certainly an adult. All he could do was raise his son the best way that he knew how and everything else would work itself out. He couldn't control the world or the chaos, but he could grab his shield and guide the way.

Copyright 2012 Pete Fanning


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    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Mr. Archer, thank you for the kind words! Sorry I didn't respond to them sooner, I must have missed this comment. Good luck to you with your little one!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      What depth you have, Pete. To be able to turn a comic phrase, or a deeply moving story such as this, the ability you have deserves more noteriety. I am a father of two families: my first ended in divorce some twenty years back. That calamity produced three sons, none of which have anything to do with me. The times I spent thinking thoughts such as these you created were many. I have since remarried, and this lovely woman had four children from her first marriage: two each boys and girls. We were blessed in short order and now have a beautiful boy, just turned 8. I spend time doing just what you described: thinking of things that occur in the world and what my children will think and do with these challenges they do and will face. I just never thought to do what you have done; that is to put them on paper. I listen to the song "Arms Wide Open" by Creed, and think these thoughts time and again. But I just listened; you created. Masterful job, Pete. Just masterful.

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      My thoughts exactly A K! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 

      5 years ago from West Yorkshire

      I loved this, I look upon that time which such fear and trembling, the moment when you realise you are not only responsible for your own life, but for another persons.

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks billybuc, I appreciate the kind words, I'm sure you did a great job!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This could be an anthem for fatherhood. Beautiful thoughts Pete; ones I have had myself during the years raising my son. This might be my favorite of your hubs.

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Janine, glad you enjoyed it, thank you for reading and sharing!

      Thank you LaThing, it is crazy indeed!

      Amen to that Becky, as I still need to call my dad for advice from time to time! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      So beautiful and worthy of thinking on. A lot of father's are playing Superman and trying to save our world. The shield work of a father is never done, even when they are grown, they still need to be helped out here and there, shielding them from the worst.

    • LaThing profile image


      5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Very beautifully said! Jacob's thoughts are what most parents can relate to now a day. But I also look at the extended world around us...... What is going around in other countries. And as you said, that we can only take our shields out and guide the way for our kids..... Voting up, and sharing too!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow, as the parent of 2 small children, I could relate to much of Jacob's thoughts and fears too on raising my children in this crazy world. I hope and pray everyday that they will turn out Ok and that I am doing the best job possible being their mother. Wonderful story and even more wonderful message to this one. Shared and voted too.


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