Here’s to those who have fathered us

As I waited for my appointment at the Genius bar at the Apple story in Ft. Lauderdale the other night,  I mused about this young dad and his little son Tyler for a long while.

The New York Times reported that we would spend 9.6 billion dollars this year on Father’s Day gifts.

But what I saw in this encounter between father and son is absolutely priceless — an exchange of loving touch, an intimacy, a comfortability that many of us never received or feel that we know how to give.

If you did have that kind of closeness to your own father, rejoice and give thanks for it is quite rare; determine to give it to your children.

It’s a simple gift, after all, the gift of loving touch, attention and loving presence.  Little  else is necessary.

And so, here’s to all the fathers I know!

And those I don’t.

To grandfathers, great grandfathers
and fathers-to-be.

Rejoice in your daughters and sons!
Give thanks today for what you have wrought,
not only from your loins
but from your spirit.

Perhaps you have been a great father,
Perhaps not.

Just be as good a father as you can be.IMG_0516

That’s all your kids want.

The most important part of being a father,
I think,
is not what your provide for your family /
nice home /good food /
health care / education / lots of cool stuff, / all that.

The most important part of being a father
is the time you spend getting to know each one as unique individualsIMG_0400
and to call forth their gifts –
to encourage them to be who they are,
to find their own identity,
–  not what you want them to be,
but to find their own place in the sun (Son).

If life circumstances have caused you
not be the greatest of fathers,
it’s not too late.
Just be the best father you can.

Focus on your kids first.

Some fathers who have lost their jobs are discovering their children for the first time.
The most important thing is to be real.
To be honest, a man of integrity. To love.

You are also somebody’s son.

Maybe you have had a great relationship with your own father.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Maybe not.

Whether living or dead, honor them today as well.

Just keep trying.  Rejoice in your kids.026_26
They are the greatest gift you have in life.
Be proud of them and they will be proud of you.

And so may we pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
we give you thanks for the life and love you share with us,
Help us as fathers to be there for our kids,
And if we haven’t,
May we do so from this day forward.
We are all Your children, Heavenly Father.

We give thanks for those who have fathered us,
even though they may not have given us our DNA
– uncles, teachers, friends, older brothers

And I, too, Father Bob, give thanks to the men
who have initiated me into manhood and the ways of the spirit.

IMG_0103I also rejoice and give thanks for all those
for whom I have been a spiritual father
during the forty years of my priesthood
by helping them to realize
that it is You, heavenly Father,  who give life and love to us all.
To You be all honor and glory and praise!

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

2 thoughts on “Here’s to those who have fathered us

  1. Ray Blush June 18, 2010 / 4:17 am

    Very nicely written Father Bob! My Dad taught me many things…one of which is what he called “the four most important words in the English language”. Those four words? “THE WORD IS INTEGRITY”. Fortunately, my two kids (one boy, one girl) got the same message from me.

    • bobtraupman June 18, 2010 / 7:19 am

      Thanks, Ray! Happy Father’s Day to you.
      It is very difficult to be an integral person in today’s world.
      Believe me, I know!

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