Invest in our sons and daughters

Published 9:06 pm Monday, June 11, 2012

Expectation was in the air. Will we have a girl or boy? With the first child, we wanted it to be a surprise but the doctor, without warning, proceeded to write the word “boy” on the ultrasound screen.

This time we had gone 40 weeks and had been able to evade knowing whether we were having a boy or a girl. There I stood by my wife in the delivery room as the contractions and extreme pressure went through her body.

At the same time, my mind began to wonder, “boy or girl?” Then I thought of a story that I had heard about a little girl who drew a picture for her dad.

Email newsletter signup

She went in her dad’s office, crawled on his lap and said, “Daddy, come and see my picture.” The daddy said, “Not now sweetheart, I am busy.” About 10 minutes later, she came back again, crawled on his lap and said, “Daddy, will you come see my picture now?” Getting frustrated the daddy yelled, “Can’t you see I’m busy? Don’t bother me right now. I’ll come and look at your picture later, when I’m ready.”

A couple of hours later the dad came out, “Can I see the picture now?” “Sure,” said the little girl. She had drawn a lovely picture of her mom, brother and herself standing on the lawn with the family dog on a sunny day. Everyone had huge smiles.

As he scanned his daughter’s masterpiece he noticed that he wasn’t in the picture at all. “This is a nice picture sweetheart, but why isn’t daddy in the picture?” Innocently, the little girl said, “Because you’re working in your office, daddy.”

On Sunday, we will celebrate Father’s Day and there will be many little girls and boys who will share the same perspective as the daughter in the story. No wonder there are so many problems in our homes which, in turn, are bleeding over into our communities.

Not to alienate mothers, but every father needs to be in their child’s picture. If we want to measure our community, we have no further to look than to the fathers who are within the community.

While it is true that mothers are the thermometers of the community, fathers will always remain the thermostats. Everything rises and falls on fathers. Fathers have the capacity to determine the mood of a community, whether it be pleasant or unpleasant.

The lack of attentiveness to children’s needs by fathers has produced alarming changes in the American home. Sadly, fathers spend an average of only 38 seconds a day being totally attentive and 20 minutes being partially attentive to their children’s needs and yet we wonder why teen pregnancy, dropouts and delinquent behavior continue to increase.

Undoubtedly almost every social ill faced by our sons and daughters directly relates to fatherlessness.

As a father it is vital that we take responsibility, remain in place, and spend time with your child because he or she deserves and craves it.

Time is sacred! It seems like we never have enough of it. Yet, when we fail to use timely wisely by not investing in our sons and daughters, we disdain its sacredness. Time reveals the priorities in your life.

When we become fathers we are saying give me more responsibility. As fathers, we should never sacrifice our children by putting them off because there’s not enough time to play.

What seems to be only play to an adult is translated as love to a child. Your child wants you to be his or her biggest fan, not just when he hits a homerun or she scores the winning points, but even when he strikes out or when she misses the last shot.

See, for your child, it is not about winning the game, it is more about winning your heart. Your child knows he or she has won your heart, when you choose play over texting, Facebook, watching the game or working extra hours on the job.

Our anticipation finally ended. At 5:13 p.m. Saturday evening my daughter, Kinslee Joi, for the first time said hello to the world. Her pictures are all over Facebook. When she grows up and begins to draw, I want to have such an impression on her that she includes me in every picture. Today ask yourself if your child drew a picture, would you be in it?