Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dad

Dad and me (8yrs old)
It's fathers day in Australia today, it's smack bang on 9pm and I'm well worn like your favourite 5year old T-shirt because we threw a birthday for our son who turned 5 last week.

What an interesting day it was, lastnight I was mulling over writing this blog and planning the birthday at the same time. And here I am starting this written tribute 3 hours before closing time.

It was interesting because I (my wife really) was throwing a party for my son, but it was also fathers day. And Dad, as he does was helping us with the arrangements and the other rigmarole that comes with a kids birthday party. There's me, the middle-man blessed by giving, and my Dad.....getting old....still can't stop.

Dad and my brother at 2yo
My dad has an interesting history (I'm currently writing a story on it, so hit me up to keep me on the job). And just hearing, and learning about my Father in the past (in Samoa) to seeing him be the man he is today is a great testament to how much a man can change. He gives full credit to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Salvation, and after hearing some of my dad's misguided adventures, I'm sure glad he made the right decision. I find it hard to bridge the gulf between a young man with his stories attached, to a man who has taught by speaking, but more importantly demonstrating toward my brother and me to:


  • do what's right even when nobody's looking
  • don't be late (still working on this one) dad believes it's the height of disrespect to be late :O
  • never cower under anybody's threat, you're only as weak as you allow them to make you
  • build your mind, it will get you places
  • work hard, it's good for you
  • and my favourite "you'll never understand where I'm coming from until you have children"
There's so much more precious gems that he's buried in my mind, and they usually surface at just the right time. 

Dad grew his little taro plantation in our bakyard in West Auckland
One of the biggest lessons he taught me was to find a mentor in anything I seek out to do. He didn't actually tell me direct, but when I grew into my teens I started questioning why he wasn't the typical Samoan Father who wouldn't allow a discussion to fester when giving questions that are often met with "soia ke fiapoko, a ou faiaku fai!" (stop being a know-it-all, when I say it, just do it!). He would actually offer explanations and in turn I would learn. He also took time out to play with my brother and me, AND he stopped giving me hidings when I was 11. He sat my brother and I both down, and I remember his lecture telling us that we were mature enough to understand his talks, and from now on we won't get a smack rather we'll discuss things.......boy we were in for a trip, I remember my brother one time interrupting my dads lecture and saying "Can I just get a hiding?". Would you believe my dad paused, told him to be patient..and carried on?

So when I had my first born, one day day I asked Dad why he raised us the way he did. He said he had asked a gentleman older than him, how he should father his boys. Said gentleman had raised four fine young men (according to Dad's perception) and he wanted to know how this he did it. I inquired about dads mentoring sessions, and Dad had different stories explaining  advice he received on walks, church lunches/picnics/camps etc. Without a doubt, I was impressed with these stories and I learned that learning from more experienced people is incredibly beneficial. What's really ironic is that now I acquire awesome advice from one of the sons of the the aforementioned gentlemen.

Dad and my brother again. 
 Anyone who knows me has probably clicked on how much I love my Dad. I'm old enough to be able to measure his standards among other men (including myself) and I find that his standards are high. My father recently told me how proud of me he was to look after my own family, and that my Son is now five, healthy, smart and courteous. His words make me feel like a man, but in saying that, those words of blessings make me feel like a little boy again.

I know that in modern times, not every individual experiences a great father, some may have passed before the child even had a chance to know them, unfortunately some are abusive, neglecting, too busy etc or worse yet they up and left and weren't there at all and make a child feel "unloved". But that's still no excuse to carry through life like an excuse. Our Father's are humans, and their failures should expose to us on how we can succeed.

 Every parent should seek out their kids interests early, and if you find that you're not au-fait with your child's interests, find someone (trustworthy) for them to guide them. If you know for yourself that you don't have that father figure, intentionally find a trustworthy mentor!

I'm grateful and blessed to say that my Fathers imprint on my life is to be like him , to show the world that there is a class of men that still find Fatherhood to be a joy and not just an obligation. Men who are not afraid to ask the right people when they're not sure. And maintain the mantle of manhood that needs to be passed through every generation.

Thanks Dad, you've added value to my life more than you will ever imagine.

Shalom,

Dave
Dad, me and my little Neice

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