Why can’t I be proud of my dad?
This was a question I found myself asking a lot growing up. When I was two years old my dad went to prison. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t home with me or why I couldn’t stay with him where he was. All I knew was my dad was my hero and I wanted to be with him.
When I was about five years old, the church I was attending at the time was having a father and son night. There was going to be activities that sons would typically do with their dad, like shooting bee-bee guns, playing catch with a baseball, football, or playing basketball – pretty much anything a dad would do with his son.
On top of all the fun activities
At the end of the event there was going to be a time for sons to share why they were proud of their dads and a time for dads to share why they were proud of their sons. When my brother, Blake, and I heard about this event we really wanted to go! I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to go shoot a bee-bee gun and talk about their hero?? Imagine our excitement when a man from church called my mom and asked if he could take my brother and I to this event. While my mom was still on the phone she asked us if we wanted to go, and we were both so excited to go, we basically yelled, “yes! Yes we want to GO!”
The night of the event cam
We had a great time playing with the other kids and their dads! I don’t remember if I got to shoot a bee-bee gun. But if I did I’m sure I hit every target (wink wink).
Towards the end of the event all of the dads and their sons were taking turns sharing why they were proud of each other. Blake and I
were sitting there, waiting for our turn, when Blake overheard one of the adults whisper “We better hurry this up, because we don’t want Blake and Brandon feeling awkward since their dad isn’t here. He is in prison ya know and I’m sure they don’t have a lot of positive things to say about him.”
I was a five year old child holding a picture of my brother and I with my dad in a prison visiting room. I was so excited to share all the reasons that I was proud to call him dad. My brother and I knew how much he loved us, but Blake turned and looked at me and said “no Brandon, we aren’t going up there.”
Because people thought I was better off without my dad or that I wouldn’t have anything positive to say, since he was in prison, I was robbed of the opportunity to share how much I love my dad. There is no comparison in this world like having your dad give you a thumb’s up, a pat on the back, or hearing him say “I am so proud to be your father.”
I love my dad! He is seriously my biggest fan and still to this day my hero. He has taught me so much! How to be a man of my word. How to be a leader, to be someone worth following.
Kids need to know they can be proud of their parents. Even if they have made mistakes. Don’t stop them from praising their dads. Let them cling to the good. Don’t rob them the opportunity of seeing their dad as the hero. Their story isn’t finished and if their dad isn’t the true hero right now, knowing their child is looking at them as a hero can or will cause them to rise up to the challenge and truly become a man worthy of that title.
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