I remember running to the back of the Greyhound bus to look out the window and watch my Father drive away from me and my life. My parents were divorced,and I made no secret that
I wanted to live with my Dad. My Mother sent me to him,I thought it would be until I grew up.
I was with him one week. He said "kid,I have a new wife now,we have two sons, YOU have to
go back and treat your Step-Father as your Dad." My throat had a lump in it the size of a football,crying,I said you don't want to be my Dad anymore!" he muttered something,and left,I was nine years old.
My Step-father was 17 years older than my Mother and did not do well with kids, I never could bring friends home,or do anything sons usually do with Dads. He did take care of us
and when I was 13 years old, he let me spend summers at his beach house on the Oregon coast working at a restaurant. I was given total freedom.
I was 30 before my son was born. I had watched "Leave it to beaver",and "Father knows
Best".. I had it ALL figured out how to be a dad!
The first ten years of my Sons lives were good,we had money,took trips,my wife was a
stay at home Mom, and all was right with the world. I would deliver my sons papers for him
so he could sleep,when he got a paper route.
Reality catches up with everybody in life as much as I wish it were otherwise.
my drinking could be measured in a number of bottles of wine I drank every night,not glasses. I found myself sitting alone in a dark room haunted by faces from the war and
realizing I really loved a lady in Vietnam.
When my sons were both around 12,they began their journey down a road of despair they have yet to recover from. I was warned to pay more attention to them and I told
my wife that was her job. I made the money, Finally I had a call from the school my sons were both attending. They both were SELLING drugs. So much for my plans!
I learned to be a Father is NOT winning a popularity contest. A father knows WHO his child's friends are,their parents,and where they live. Curfews should be followed. A family
should sit down for dinner and discuss what is happening in everyone"s life. You can be strict without hurting your child. Many times my friends said I was too nice to be a Dad.
I made peace with my step-father before he died. I apologized for putting him in a race with myFather. He admitted he let my sister and myself raise each other with the help
of my Grandmother.
Thousands of men came home from Vietnam and are great Dads.Their kids turned out
great. I congratulate all of you. I have no idea what all of you do for a living.The most
important job you have is being a Father.
I should have read a book or studied first.