Friday, August 1, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

I know this blog is primarily about motherhood, but I can't help but write a small posting about dads, as well. After all, they are pretty important in this job called parenting, too. I have often marveled at single mothers who are somehow making it on their own, being a full-time parent as well as the bread winner. I could not manage without the help of my husband, so my hat goes off to anyone who is doing this demanding, difficult, but delightful job of parenting alone. And here's to you dads!

My six year old is starting to really care about what he wears every day (I'm learning that happens to most kids at some point, girls even sooner--Hence, the book My Squishy Pants). I was trying to help Nate get dressed for church Sunday, but every time I suggested something he just shook his head no. He finally pulled out a long-sleeved white dress shirt and some navy blue slacks and told me he wanted to dress just like his dad. I tried to discourage him, telling him how hot he was going to be, but he was insistent, so I shrugged my shoulders and proceeded to help him pick out a sweater vest (yes, sweater), a belt and church shoes and socks. When he was dressed he marched into the bathroom and informed his dad that he expected him to wear the same thing.

My husband looked at me with big eyes and whispered that he'd rather not wear a sweater to church. I told him to go with it, and because he's a wonderful dad, he did. He called Nate into his closet and together they picked out each item he would wear that day, from the navy blue slacks and white, long-sleeved shirt, to the sweater vest, tie, brown belt, shoes and socks. I couldn't help but smile as I heard them conversing and watched them walk out of the closet together, a near perfect match (one sweater was grey, the other navy blue).

I thought of how wonderful it was that my son was trying to look and act like his dad--if only it could last until he's a teenager. I couldn't pick a better role model for him and was touched that, even though he's only six, he thinks his dad is a pretty cool guy and he wants to be like him. I was also filled with gratitude that my husband is the kind of guy I want my son to emulate. It made me realize that I want to be someone my girls would want to be like as well. You never know when these dear children are watching or what habits they are picking up on. My husband had no idea that Nate would notice how sharp he looked for church each week in his white shirt and tie , but Nate did notice and it affected him enough to want to copy it.

They say that the most powerful way to influence others is through example. As scary as that is for an imperfect mother, I know it's true, and I'm actually extremely grateful that I have the opportunity of influencing my children for good each day. After all, although I make tons of mistakes, no one loves them like their dad and I do. One day (probably all too soon) their friends will have a stronger influence, so I'd better soak it up while I can!

The funny part of this story is that we hadn't been to church for even five minutes when Nate looked over at me, and in misery said, "I'm sweating." He wanted to take his sweater off. I couldn't help but chuckle. I wonder what next week will bring.


Tristi Pinkston said...

How awesome that your picture book is out! The illustrations look great, too.

AJ Gorham said...

Hey Lori! Just had to drop you a quick note to say hi!

Nicole said...

Great post. I thought that the heightened sensitivity to clothing was just a Chloe thing. 95% of her behavioral promblems are centered around the way things bother her skin. I'll have to research it a bit further. Congrats! on your book.