Walk ahead of me: A Father’s Day wish for a better future for my kids and yours.

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My favorite day of the year is Father’s Day.

Since the entry into this world by my son, Owen, followed a mere two years later by my daughter, Maisie, there is no day that more fully captures my reason for being.

Or, to be fancy, my raison d’etre.

Throughout their young lives both my children have transfixed and transformed me.

They have challenged me, compelled me and completed me.

The simple essence of their being enumerates my humanity far more than anything I could have ever considered before they came into my life and became my life.

Over the past several months as the world has swirled in chaos with a global pandemic we have found ourselves in a place we could never have imagined.

And as though the Universe didn’t feel as though that was enough it double-downed with the tragic killing of a black man in our community followed by the maelstrom of violent riots fueled by nothing more than vandals, criminals and miscreants.

We watched, listened and read “news” and information which reasonably could have made us believe that everything is coming apart at the seam.

Each time we thought peace and understanding was ascending the world found itself descending even further.

It has not been the world I thought I was bringing my children into nearly 20 years ago.

Yet, my children, and their generation, are better prepared to make the world a better one than any generation in a generation.

America had “The Greatest Generation” and every generation since has failed to match the bravura of their imprint on our world.

Perhaps it was too much to ask of us to match Americans who survived a global depression, won a global war and created global prosperity.

Each generation since then has faltered a little more and a little more and a little more.

It’s nobody’s fault and it’s all of our fault.

As bits and pieces of the fabric of society began to fray we saw gaping holes in the cloth and did nothing to fix it.

We have found all sorts of people responsible for the colored tapestry of our nation turning to gray and none of them seem to be ourselves.

I have begun the slow journey back to standing up for the things I once fought passionately to change.

My voice is beginning to get a little louder and my feet less tentative underneath me as I try to re-enter a world I once found so easy to exist in.

However, I find myself to be little more than a holding force.

Caught in between partisans and ideologues and nihilists there seem to be far too little I can do turn things back in the right direction.

There was a time when my children walked behind me to keep them safe from what lay ahead of us.

It’s now time for them to walk ahead of me to allow them to see what is ahead for themselves.

It’s no longer my job to describe the world through my eyes to my kids.

It’s now their job to see the world through their own eyes and understand it for what it is and most importantly for what they want it to be.

Their Dad did what he could do and finds himself wanting.

I will do what I can do so that my kids don’t find my faith in their future lacking.

On this Father’s Day, as has been every Father’s Day since the first one that made me a Dad, I have never been more confident in my children’s future.

I’ve never doubted that for so many miles and so many years it was my job to walk ahead and blunt the impact of a world determined to take them down.

Now, more than ever before, I know it is their time to walk ahead of me and embrace that world and take it on.

 

 

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