The best things in life come in threesFeb 15th, 2011 | By admin | Category: In Every Issue, Life With Kids, The Dad Dispatch
The best things comes in threesStory & Photo by Justin Woodward
They often say things come in threes. Good luck, bad luck, wishes, or chances. For me, personally, the best thing that has ever happened in my life came in threes – fatherhood. It seems fitting that I should write this article today – for today, eight long years ago the first of my trinity was born. Eight years has gone awfully fast and it seems even more shocking that in eight more my daughter will be driving. I have often thought that doubling time gives it an interesting perspective – if it seems difficult to believe that a certain amount of time has passed double it and think about how different life will be then.
I would say that I have often found fatherhood to be challenging. The details of everyday life too often interfere with the consistent goal of raising “well-developed” children. It seems that the lessons of hard work, self-discipline, and perseverance fail to blend with the idea of consistent and stable bonding and nurturing. I say to my wife, should I spend my one day off each week mowing the lawn and taking care of the yard, or riding bikes and playing in the park with my children.
That may seem strange, but as I was growing up I was faced with the all too common situation of having a father and a stepfather. My stepfather raised me day by day, taught me the ethics of hard work and responsibility through his daily actions. My father, on the other hand, would often spoil me and dedicated the time he got to spend with me engaging in the things I wanted to do. When I became a father I immediately recognized the value of both behaviors and the constant struggle to mix the two to make the perfect blend of fatherhood.
This concept of a blend is something that permeates life. I’m convinced that if all we had to do in life was be good at one thing, life would be way too simple. Instead we are constantly faced with a barrage of competing and complex dualities that force decisions we really don’t want to make. In my job as an attorney who deals with a plethora of family law matters I see people and families struggle every day
How do you parent children who spend time in two different households? How do you put aside feelings that may interfere with your daily parenting? How do you blend together two families – two families with different parents, different backgrounds, and different siblings? Unfortunately it isn’t like blending together the perfect mix of ice cream and milk. There is no black and white – instead an indescribable hue of gray permeates these decisions. I see it in my own 21st Century family. It seems nearly impossible to provide any sort of social science paradigm to define the nuclear family of today.
I try to help people with these situations every day. Whether they be fathers, mothers, or grandparents, regardless of the label, they are those who are struggling with tough situations in which they are trying to do humanities’ toughest job – raising children.
At the end of things, no matter what decisions are made and what the unforeseeable outcome may become I remind each of my client’s that in my own life I apply one trinity to my trinity – the unfaltering concept of faith, hope and love. And, at the end of each day that passes, when I sit down and question whether I am doing the right thing for my children I pray to God for the continued faith that I am raising my children the right way, the hope that my children will be happy and healthy, and, most of important of all, that my children always sense the love that I will always hold in my heart for them.