Every year thousands of little babies are put up for adoption. Our oldest daughter and son in law adopted a beautiful little girl not quite a year ago. We can no longer imagine our family without her.
Her mother picked our daughter and her husband out of a number of families who were in the adoption line waiting for a child. They had prepared a lot of information about themselves, history, goals and aspirations along with an entire book of pictures. The mother of the child selected them and met with them before the actual transfer of the child took place. While there were and still are may legal letters to dot and cross their joy of the child has been great.
I can't imagine the biological mother of the child handing her baby over to another couple. The mother in all honesty stated she had two children and financially couldn't take care of another child. She didn't want to kill the baby but wanted the child to have a good home. Let's please give the biological mother an A for doing the right thing.
I never dreamed that I would be a grandfather. My oldest son was 32 years old when he announced to me that my wife and I would be grandparents. He is almost two years old now and is a lovely little boy. Since then our youngest daughter has had a child so suddenly we now have three grandbabies.
Grandbabies are easier than children. We love on them, spoil them and then give them back to their parents.
If we are fortunate life passes by and we have the opportunity to look back. Old people have the opportunity to look back at the joys, pleasures and regrets of life and everybody has a little of all of them. You haven't lived much if you haven't had some joys and a regret or two.
The joy that my little sons brought me were more than I could ever write about. They were two sweet little boys that listened to my silly bedtime stories almost every night. They grew up to fill my house with loud guitar and drum music and kept me jumping during their teenage years. I miss loading them up in the car and us heading off to see their grandparents in Ohio. I miss our trips to Myrtle Beach to play in the sand tossing a ball in the backyard. Of course I could go on with things I miss all day long. Most of us dads could.
On the flip side now my sons are 34 and 31. They are 14 and six-year military men and our conversations and lives are now very different. I love them and still look forward to every minute I have to do something together or just hang out for a day. At this stage of life there isn't enough of these times as one lives on the east coast and the other lives on the west coast.
Fatherhood is a blessing to be enjoyed and there will always be a few moments to endure, that's part of life as well. You may not be a father and that's okay to. Just enjoy whatever your status. There aren't any universal rules that say you have to be a father to have a fulfilling life. My nephew is 55, single and with no children and lives life with a good attitude and sense of wellbeing.
On this Father's day, give thanks for the opportunity to be a father. Tell your children you love them and engage in their lives and activities. If you've made mistakes you have today to try to be a better father. It's never too late to do something right.
If you are fortunate to still have your father then please brighten his day by calling him and having a long telephone conversation. If possible go and spend time with him. Do what you can to express love and admiration if you can and you won't regret it.
Finally, we have to be realistic. There are scenarios of deadbeat dads who were lousy fathers and unworthy of praise. On the flipside there are children who did everything they could to drive dad crazy while growing up. These are the harsh realities of life. The real reality of life is that love covers a multitude of sins and it's never too late to be and do the right thing. If you haven't been a good father it's not too late to try today. If you never cared much for your dad then why not make one more effort to reach out to dad today. There is always a chance for disappointment but maybe you just might get a kind word and a warm reception and maybe a miracle will happen that might be the beginning of a new and real relationship that never really existed.
You never know until you try and this Father's Day is the day to try for a good Father's Day.
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books. He is read in all fifty states.