As I was leaving TMA Homeschool’s office the other day, I grabbed my boys’ stuff — two violins, a music bag, a backpack and a lunch bag and made my way towards the kids and Edric. They were sitting in the consultation room finishing their lunch. I almost got to them when I was intercepted by my older son, who noticed that I was carrying all their things. He quickly came to my aid and said, “Mom, let me help you. I don’t want dad to see you carrying our things.”
A part of me wanted to carry everything myself so we could get out of the office quicker. I had another activity to attend and it was an hour away. However, our son was very insistent and I knew that he wanted to please his dad by being responsible for his own things. So I said, “Thanks, hon. You’ve gotten so strong. I really appreciate you helping me.” I noticed he flexed his muscles and was motivated to exert more effort as he took the bags and violins from me.
The desire to take charge of his things was instilled in him by Edric. And I really appreciate that Edric is taking his role as a father seriously, even in the little ways. On Thursdays, our older sons come into the office with him to attend their violin and Taekwondo classes. He uses this time to mentor them. One of the things he has trained them to do is keep track of their belongings and be responsible for them. It doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but for our boys, taking care of their things does not come naturally. Left alone, their closets and toys would be in a constant state of explosion!
One thing is for sure, Edric has a special way with our sons. His input, mentoring, feedback, guidance, and encouragement does wonders. I love it because it makes my parenting a whole lot easier. But more than that, our sons are growing up with a clear understanding of what it means to be a man because Edric is so hands on with them and present in their lives.
We know many fathers who are purposeful with their sons and we can see the difference — the confidence, sense of security, and masculinity exhibited by the boys, young men or grown men who have spent alot of time with their dads. In fact, just today we had lunch with a homeschooling family in Cebu and Edric and I asked the sons (a 13 and 15 year old), “What is one thing you appreciate about your parents?” The 13 year old son said, “Quiet time with dad.” We asked what that meant and he shared that it’s when he gets to spend one on one time with his dad to ask and talk about anything. Edric and I took note of this because our sons are still young but they will need Edric more and more as they grow up.
In a world where gender confusion is so common, I thank God for a husband who recognizes his integral role in raising our sons to be men. I pray that all fathers would realize how much a dad matters, especially to their sons. And I also pray they would remember that being the kind of dad the matters starts with having a relationship with our heavenly father. (A friend reminded me to include this last part.:))
“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:6 NASB)