If you're a father, I hope your family made you feel special last Sunday. In this week's blog post, I will share details of the first 45 minutes of my Father's Day and offer you some advice supportive of reflections about fatherhood.
Last Sunday morning began similar to any day. My alarm went off at 4 am. I got out of the bed, headed to the bathroom, handled my business, and then walked back to my dresser. I prayed, gave thanks for life, drank a glass of water, and picked up my journal to write.
If you don’t have a morning routine, consider creating one that includes 10 minutes of quiet time to get clarity on your day’s activities. In addition to work-related tasks, do not forget to add family time to your to-do list.
Thirty minutes after waking up, I went to the fridge to grab the dog’s boiled chicken and place it in a plastic bag for the day’s training session. Then, I walked to another part of the house to take the massive 60lb puppy out of his crate. He greeted me with his tail wagging.
With the leash around his neck, I opened the door leading to the outside. We walked into my dark backyard and the cool morning air. The dog added his special water, urine, to the day’s dew before we spotted the cat’s return from one of his late-night excursions.
After getting both animals water, I began training the dog. Puppies need structured time with their owners to build bonds and to learn commands. One of my first goals of the day is to spend ten minutes training the dog to sit, stay, and come. The cat took advantage of every moment to get a piece of chicken in between every “sit and stay” drill.
Children are not animals, but it is possible to make correlations between tending to the needs of a pet and taking care of a child. To survive, they need food and water. If you want loyalty and respect, reinforce desired behaviors and interact with them from the places of love and patience inside you.
Training the family pets is how Father’s Day, 2021 began. The day continued with an incredible breakfast made by my wife, time spent cleaning the house, an afternoon yoga session, a memorable sunset hike up Greencastle Hill, and a dinner that I will savor for a long time. Father’s Day was full of meaningful memories.
I am grateful for fatherhood. My children's incessant talking, adventurous spirits, and occasional fights help me become a better man. Father’s Day is every day that I am blessed to see my little ones growing into the best versions of their selves.
Like any man with children will admit, being a father has highs and lows. When the kids do well in school, excel in athletics, protest an injustice, or treat another human being with respect, your chest fills with pride. When they act out or do something against your teachings, it's difficult to control your temper and not feel disappointed.
Remember that external challenges exist to test and remind us of our internal strengths.
I captured some of the highs of our family time together From May and June for this month’s vlog episode. It also shares clips from a morning training session with the dog. You will not see the low moments when I lost my cool at home.
Take a look at the episode here:
Despite the fluidity of my morning routine, I don't jump out of bed eager to train animals. I make time for the dog in the morning because I know a well-mannered pet supports actions of loyalty, love, and protection for my family.
What are three values that guide your approach to fatherhood? I value love, discipline, and sacrifice.
For more of my perspectives on the #dadlife, check out my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity.