Thursday, March 7, 2013

27 Years of Fatherhood, Learning

After Joel's First Communion with Amanda and Michael
My oldest child, Joel, turns 27 today. As I'm sure is the case with most (all maybe?) father-son relationships, the circumstances of such have not always been the best. However, for quite a few years now, I would say that our relationship is mostly outstanding.

Through a lot of hard work, Joel has become quite successful as a manger for his employer, and I am always pleased to hear him talk about his honest concern for those that work for him and with him. He has high ethical standards and business practices that have helped him gain recognition throughout his company.

More than that though, Joel is a loving husband and father. When he and his family visit, it is so obvious, but it's really just as obvious in his voice when we talk about them during our now-frequent phone conversations. Joel seems to be doing a much better job of balancing family life than I ever did.

I've learned lots of lessons through my relationship with Joel. One of those is that people often have different perceptions about the same "events" in life, and it's not likely that either will be successful in persuading the other to their "side", especially if they're father and son. The greatest benefit of that lesson though, is that if both parties accept that truth and are able to do their best to understand the other's position (or perception), then the "differences" between them can actually strengthen not only that relationship, but potentially those with others as well. I'm pretty strong-headed, but am working hard on this.

I could write quite a bit more about these things, but what's most important is to say that as a father, a husband, and a man, I am proud to say that I admire Joel, and there are many qualities about him that I aspire to.

Happy birthday Joel. I love you son.
Here's a link to Joel's own birthday post today.

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