Chris And Jake’s Dad

Kids don’t choose their dads, that’s why dads must be the best they can be to their kids. Please read on and see where I am going with this.
First I am going to tell a true story. I know a guy, I’ll call Chris, who was the firstborn of a couple who discovered that they could not birth another baby but wanted more children. They especially thought it would be great that Chris would have a sibling. So they adopted their second child. And this child happened to be another boy, I’ll call Jake.
As the boys grew Chris was very interested in drama, art and dance. Jake liked baseball, track and all sorts of outdoor activities. The boys’ dad liked outdoor activities too and really could not quite figure out where his first son got his interest in drama, art and dance.
Only a few years apart in school, Chris helped his brother with his school work and cheered him on in sports. However Jake did not show much interest in his brother’s activities and neither did their father. Their father never encouraged Chris and seldom went to any of his performances at school. Needless to say he did not show Jake how to show interest in or respect for his brother.
As the years have passed, their father never did take time to understand or appreciate Chris. Throughout his life he showered Jake with praise and adulation. Chris did well in school and went into publishing. His brother married and has a career is sales.
Chris never had much of a relationship with his father so that when he died there was little grief. All that could have been so different. Had the dad taken the time to recognize the gifts of Chris, he would have spared that boy a lifetime of anxiety and self-deprecation. The dad would have shown Jake the richness of the life of his brother, even though they liked different things.
Everybody lost here. Both boys lost because they were not equally loved and supported. The dad lost because he failed to appreciate and love Chris for who he is. And their mother lost by having to deal with a dysfunctional family over which she had little control. It was not a happy family.
The moral of the story is: be a dad to the kid you’ve got. Each person is different and worthy of love and respect. Our kids are not accessories. We should discover them as they discover themselves. Remember your kids did not choose you, so don’t give them reason to wish they could have.

One thought on “Chris And Jake’s Dad

  1. Dan Conway

    Until I was a sophomore in high school, my Dad tried every way imaginable short of physical compulsion to get me interested in sports. I just wasn’t. Don’t ask me why. It was not a conscious choice. It was just the way I was wired. At the beginning of sophomore year, Dad asked if I was going to try out for JV football. I summoned my courage and said, “No, I’m going to try out for the school play.” Dad was visibly disappointed, but he didn’t pursue it. When I got a good part in the play, he was curious. He came to every performance and was proud as could be! That was the best gift Dad ever gave me. He let me be me.


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