Father’s Day 2016

Here is a miscellany of quotes and reflections on fatherhood triggered by Father’s Day 2016.

Father’s Day 2016BabyFistAroundFingerMichaelJZealot

“The first handshake in life is the greatest of all: the clasp of an infant around the finger of a parent.”
Evan Esar

It’s a surprising strong grip in my experience.

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“The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.”
G. K. Chesterton

Now that my children are grown it’s clear that childhood ends. I knew this from my own situation but there was something about a newborn that reminded me of a puppy: I never really expected them to talk and start driving and to leave home.  Compare to Achaan Chaa’s “when I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious” in Mark Epstein’s Thoughts Without a Thinker (pages 80-81) quoted in “Thanksgiving 2011

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People live forever in Jacksonville and St. Petersburg and Tampa,
But you don’t have to live forever to become a grampa.
The entrance requirements for grampahood are comparatively mild,
You only have to live until your child has a child.
You don’t have to live forever to become a grampa, but if you do want to live forever,
Don’t try to be clever;
If you wish to reach the end of the trail with an uncut throat,
Don’t go around saying Quote I don’t mind being a grampa but I hate being married to a gramma Unquote.
Ogden Nash in “Come on in, the Senility is Fine”

Good advice given to me by a grandmother whose opinion I respect.

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“Happy is the father whose child find his attempts to amuse amusing.”
Robert Wilson Lynd

The most difficult years are 13 to 20 in my experience.

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“A man should never neglect his family for business.”
Walt Disney quoted in  Ch. 14 : The Real Walt Disney, p. 361

My father travelled up and down the Mississippi river to take depositions and to appear in courtrooms in river-related lawsuits. I never felt he never neglected us. For most of the last 30 years I have been home almost every night but have worked the better part of six days a week. Hopefully my children have not felt neglected.

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Elinor Holding Hands Michael Colburn

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One key is to let them find their own path as they help you find yours. See Things I Have Learned From My Children for more on this.

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“A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” Frank A. Clark

My father always encouraged me to do my best, sometimes by asking me “Is this the best you can do?” and other times “If you did your best that’s all I can ask.” Occasionally he would phrase “Is this your best and highest purpose?” as “What in the hell do you think you are doing?” but I knew what he meant.

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“There are three men in the world that should never show natural anger–a judge, a schoolteacher, and a father.”
Austin O’Malley “Keystones of thought

Fortunately when I am really angry I talk very softly. It’s a trait that’s also useful in negotiations.

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“The most frightening things are earthquakes, thunder, fires, and fathers.”
Japanese saying

Unfortunately when I am not really angry, but I am concerned or scared, I can sound like I am angry.

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Hanging On ThtStudios

“The most important thing parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.”
Frank A. Clark

I try to do this by treating them as adults and advising them as candidly as I would a close friend.

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“You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for instance.”
Franklin P. Jones

I remember holding my son in the middle of the night when he was just a few weeks old. He was giving his best imitation of a car alarm and I had no idea what was wrong. I asked him a few times in a few different ways but he lacked the power at speech at that age and I lacked the ability to troubleshoot these problems. Looking back it was a good experience that made me a better father but at the time it was stressful.

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5 thoughts on “Father’s Day 2016”

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