“I need socks, too.”

A few months ago, my son uttered the sentence above. The story is quite a common one especially in this household (much to the chagrin of mommajulie). Of course, it’s been said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Let me explain.

My son and I were getting ourselves ready to play the Wii. The game of choice was either going to be Star Wars Legos or Mario Kart Wii; I don’t remember, and frankly it’s not that vital a piece of information anyway. Well, a cold front had blown through and dropped the temperature quite a bit. Point is, my feet were cold. So I said, “I need socks first.”

Of course, my son followed suit with the above quote, “I needs socks, too.” My wife also responded with semi-jealousy and semi-adoration, “Did you hear that?” With a smile on my face, I simply affirmed hearing my son’s reply.

This is not a rare occurrence. Also, there are times when mommajulie has to try to talk my son into doing something that is to his betterment while I can simply swoop in and just say the words, and well, it is done. She doesn’t think it’s fair but her jealousy is something that she will need to work out with much prayer and meditation. ‘Life isn’t fair’ or ‘It is what it is’ would be common replies to her plight.

At five years old, he still wants to be just like me but he’s also starting to realize some value in individualism. Superman is not his favorite super-hero like he is mine. He’s on a Batman kick right now without even seeing “Dark Knight” yet. He’s gone through the Spider-man phase and the Iron Man phase and who knows who will remain king of the hill when all is said and done. Maybe it’ll turn out to be Superman like me and maybe it won’t. Regardless of who it is, I have to make sure that I remain his hero.

In a time where it appears there is a growing decline in daddyhood, I need to make sure my sons see a proper example on how to live and on how to be a man. When things are left alone, they tend towards chaos rather than order. In order to give my sons their best chance in life, I have to show them how to live.

It’s often said of children that they have their ‘Daddy’s eyes’ or nose, smile, laugh, or in my case, yawn. Good Daddies give far more traits than just physical ones. Children learn how to succeed from their fathers. Involved fathers can give their children stronger work ethics. An involved father can increase integrity and self-responsibility. Children can learn to study from their fathers. Fathers can teach children how to try and fail so that one day they can try and succeed. More importantly, children learn how to pray and work on their spiritual life by watching their fathers. They learn how important you really think prayer is and where God really falls on life’s priority list.

We must be the example even in times of solitude when we think no body is watching because our children will imitate that as well. I’m reminded of lyrics by a father-son duo Aaron Jeoffrey that included the following message to Jesus, “I want to be just like You, because he wants to be like me.”

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