Today’s father in the #40Days40Dads project is my mother-in-law’s brother Jerry. Like most people on my wife’s side, Jerry has a rather large family. Given his quality responses below, the experience of fatherhood has clearly given him a lot of wisdom to share. Thanks, Jerry!
Jerry is the father of seven daughters–ages 35, forever 19, 29, 28, 26, 23, 16–and a 19-year-old son.
What was the moment when you first felt like a father?
When I held our first daughter. I remember my elation at that moment and how my fears of uncertainty melted away. What a beautiful gift!
What’s your favorite part about being a father?
Watching the kids grow up and helping to guide them by answering their questions on the challenges of their lives (a lot of the same questions I had), and seeing them develop into their own person. And now, being with them as they begin their own families.
What’s the hardest part about being a father?
Having to let go of one–or more–of those precious gifts as God calls them home.
What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?
Nothing special comes to mind but it is interesting the things that are important to them as they age and how those things change. It also says much about their personality as far as how sensitive, determined or passionate they are about particular things.
What are you most proud of having taught/shared with your kids or what are you most looking forward to teaching/sharing with them?
At this stage it would be the same for both categories, helping them develop the tools and talents to be a positive, contributing part of this world we are given into.
What’s your favorite thing about your kids?
Their individuality and desire to get along in spite of their differing opinions.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?
Have a vision of what type of values and behaviors you’d like to see in your child then keep that in mind as you guide them in their growing up. I like to say,”If it won’t be funny when they’re 12, then it can’t be funny when they’re 2.” Having said that, don’t be too hard on them. I remember being a kid, too. In the end just love them and try hard to make sure they see/feel it.
Any other comments to share on fatherhood?
Pray for guidance and ask your Dad for advice (he’ll LOVE that).
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