My children are grown and have families of their own now. I look back on those special years of raising children with fondness. I would not have made a good single mother. I so admire those women who do it because I would have messed it up royally. My husband was/is a great dad!
We didn’t have a lot of money in those days, but my husband was always available for the children. He worked two jobs for many years to provide for us, but that didn’t stop him from making time for the kids. As a matter of fact, he took the kids with him on a regular basis to his weekend job. He taught them to work and how to take pride in doing a good job. He made work fun for them, and gave them $.50 for their efforts. They didn’t care about the small amount of cash; they just wanted to spend time with their dad.
The kids all developed a real strong bond with their father. They used to get somewhat embarrassed to run into someone on the street, or to go into the local ice cream store, and have people tell them that they had run into their father recently, and how proud he was of them. Dad told their life story and their accomplishments to anyone who would listen.
Breakfast one-on-one with Dad was always a special treat. He grabbed a kid every chance he had and took them to breakfast. He knows all of the little hometown breakfast spots.
Our kids were all in Camp Fire Girls & Boys (yes boys), and they loved Camp Fire camp. We didn’t have money to send them unless they sold a boatload of Camp Fire candy every year. Dad took an active part in walking the streets with them, and he spent many hours standing in front of department stores and grocery stores with us selling candy. The kids didn’t work half as hard for the emblems and Camp Fire rewards as they did for Dad’s reward. Each child would set their “personal goal,” and when they reached it, they got a date with Dad. They loved that time with Dad!
It was very important to me that the kids have lots of time with Dad when they were growing up, and I encouraged every outing they had together. My husband is 12 years older than me, and I wanted to make sure that they had lots of time with him before he grows old. You can’t retrieve wasted moments; once they are gone, they are gone forever.
Now that our children are grown, I see the fruits of our labors. My husband is a good man—a very good man—and he spent time enough with our children to make them good people too.