Becoming what I never had

Ryan - Newark, Ohio
Entered on November 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in being a great father.

When I was a child growing up I was never the hunter or fisherman my brother was. My father realized this and spent most of his time with my brother. I was always alone, throwing a ball in the air and catching it or in my room playing video games. My father was my Little League coach and would speak to me always about sports. That seemed to be the only thing he spoke to me about. He worked a factory job and when he was home he spent his time on the couch. I never bothered him much even if I needed help with my homework. I was always scared to ask for his help. I felt like I was stupid to be asking for it. My father wasn’t the best father, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am not mad at him or wish that he was any different. I want to thank him. I want to thank him for showing me everything not to do.

I believe when I have my children, I will be there for them; I want to talk to them about their days, find out what they love and what they hope to be. I cannot remember a time my father ever spoke to me about my dream to become a teacher. No matter how small the conversation I want them to know it all matters. I want to hear they shared half of their sandwich with Billy at lunch or they fell on the black top during recess and scraped their knee. I wanted my father’s time. Something I never felt I deserved. My children will know they have all of mine. I believe this is important for being a great father.

I know a phone call does not sound like much, but when only one person is making the call it takes a toll. That is how my relationship is with my father today. He never calls me to find out how my day is going or how school might be. Sure he will ask these questions after I call him, but I feel like he is forced. I have always thought how nice it must be to have a father consistently try to be involved in my life. I want my children to come talk to me about: girlfriends, boyfriends, their problems with their mother or even myself. I will pick up the phone once they are in college to see how their day is going. I believe this will make me a great father.

My father never seemed interested in my problems: whether it be a fight with my brother or a how to make macaroni and cheese. That was fine with me, I understood the way it was, but that doesn’t mean that I wanted it that way. Instead of bottling up my anger, I watched and learned what kind of man I should not become. He poured the concrete on the wrong foundation many times. I want to thank him for all the things he accidentally taught me.

I do not hold anything against my father for what he has done. I just learn from him. I believe in the idea of being a great father, not just a good one. My children will live a lot longer than myself and I want them to have the morals and respect that will make them successful in life. I put that responsibility on my shoulders to make them beautiful people. This I believe is important for being a great father.