11 Children of my life. Gifts from Heaven everyone. We can only repay them with love.
I am such a proud father. First they do not invite me. Then they just have fun in NY?
I think we fell in love because of her amazing love for children, including me.
1976 my fiancé’ and I were shacking up together and eking our way through college. I had a job at my old junior high school as a janitor, in a program where students were not so much punished as given to me to work off their misdeeds. It was amazingly successful and spread though out the district. They gave me the title of superintendent of Maintenance engineering -- funny huh.
My fiancé’ was graduating in education.
Well Homer was one of the kids. A real sad story for a developmentally challenged black boy in the 70’s. My fiance met him and she fell in love. So for two years Homer spent a few hours almost everyday being taught by her. He was our pride and joy.*
Do you stay in contact with your "children" or do you just let them leave?
Have you spoken with each of your children in the past week?
Family is everything or nothing at all.
Niece and Nephew. Well my fiancés brother was having some tough times. And for awhile our niece was in a huge double leg brace for a terrible defect. So we often had one of them in our homes for about 3 years and then both of them after we got married. We followed with a decade of having them for at least a month. Both college grads with their own children.
Then after marriage having our own seemed brilliant. Our first was born during a minor hurricane that hit our coast. She was what they call a blue baby. The cord wrapped itself around her throat during delivery and she was deprived of oxygen for a time. No damage there. She graduated college cum laude in two disciplines then went off to get a masters, cum laude in international justice and American University. She is now a national director of powerful political group.
Beauty comes from loving yourself first
Funny we think of children as being ours. But alas only we are theirs.
Finally we had a son of our own. He was/is a perfect specimen. He was an acolyte for years, taught himself to surf very well, and coaches youngsters. At around seven they found a tumor in his leg that required surgery and a lower body cast and wheel chair for much of the year. This kid turned tragedy into miracles. Instead of turning surely and angry he opted for building an attractive and engaging personality that made him the most popular that year. He went on to graduate from UC Santa Cruz with two degrees, one in art, and one in philosophy. He is an excellent artist and lead singer in a band “Hopi-Astronaut”, he has backpacked most all of Europe and all the way south to Sierra Del Fuego and skied the Himalayas. Currently he is signed with the Ford agency as a model. I think he has hiked over four hundred miles with me in the Grand Canyon.
Then we were blessed with a delightful charming little girl. She started out as a remedial reader and had a speech impediment. She truly struggled and was frustrated as a little one. Somewhere she developed and became the student body president of an excellent Academy and on to Berekely to graduate with two degrees, in society and the environment and Native American studies. She is now a very well paid nanny in the Georgetown area.
Sometimes children look wise because they are.
We are given the good life, if we take, it is up to us.
There were a couple of children we hosted as ours were growing up. Fatherless and in trouble were there commonality.
As college years approach we became surrogate parents for foreign students, one most notable from India and the other still resides with me from Vietnam while getting his masters. He is my new wife’s nephew.
It is hard to relate but the joy these younger ones have brought me is simply indescribable. I am not a fatalist, but I do believe all these wonderful kids were destined to be successful where they are today. 90% of being a good dad is to not alter that course. What we give in direction needs to be on how to decide a matter and not what the decision is. If something is wrong, you simply cannot declare it so, you have to engage and be ready to change your mind. In this they will learn not to fight it but rather to understand it. In understanding comes wisdom and in wisdom right judgment.
After my mother’s death we were dividing up the stuff of a very abundant life. As the six of us were gathered the term “I gave this to mom” came up time and again. The process was mostly beautiful and reminiscent. But the inheritance I brought away from her home that really mattered, was stuck in that comment “I gave this to mom”. What I had somehow given her were wonderful grandchildren. And there is my treasured inheritance.
As for the eleventh child – the jury is out. I was supposed to be sterile and my wife to small and old. He was born a whole month premature. He is now in the upper percentiles in height and weight. He speaks quite a lot in both English and Vietnamese. If you get hurt and he hears about it, hugs and kisses are coming your way. Of all the children he is the happiest little child I have ever seen, yet precocious. Yesterday he told me that he would start using the toilet so he could start going to school.
What I am most grateful for is the opportunity in both body and mind to have learned from all these children. They work hard, pay taxes, vote and more politically, and are constantly giving to charities. If only I could be so noble. Now I enter school again, and as before this education to be given me by my youngest is invaluable I hope I can rise to the occasion of his mentoring of me.
*Homer was tragic, until prison, now he is out and leads a 450 person congregation.
A little melancholy but a cool message.
As is this Authors want, let me end with some thoughts
Wrote this article a bit ago. Things have changed much since just a few months ago. My youngest is now in school and I get to tell a story there about 4 days a week. He is now hiking almost two miles with me several times a week.
My older son has cut an album (although I am sure they call it something different) And my eldest is in the heat of the shutdown working at bending and supporting congressmen. My nephew has moved to Orange County for work. And my youngest daughter is learning new ropes back here on the West coast. And learning how to have a post graduate adult relationship with her father -- Yikes - the drama!
So it is good I end this piece with the clear truth. As a father you must be strong like the Oak tree and yet you must stretch your branches out far so that they may bend with the wind.