What goes round, comes round.

Good morning Forum readers. I have been mulling through some of my past postings and I make no apologies for re-posting this story, for it has a lesson to be taught and learned by many parents who want only the very best for their children.

Beware, for the most precious gift that you can give your children is, yourself and your TIME.

The birth of my only son was the most momentous occasion in my life to date. Something I had yearned for for so very long.
I’d been married for eight years and my wife had never been able to conceive in this time, but at last, we had been blessed with a beautiful baby boy.

In the absence of a child in our lives I had frittered away most of our spare money in many foolish ways, but now I made a promise to my son that he would want for nothing during his growing years. Only the very best would be good enough for him.

I recalled my childhood, with a Father who was rarely in regular employment.
My friends had everything that they wanted, whilst I very rarely was able to have the things that I craved.
Oh yes, my Father spent all of his time taking me walking and fishing.
He taught me many things during the countless hours that we sat in the kitchen on an evening.
He taught my wood-carving with a knife.
How to tie dozens of different knots.
How to fight.
How to write stories,… but he was never able to buy me anything, he was just ALWAYS there, ready to help to teach me something new.
My life was boring, and I’d grown up actually resenting him.

I wasn’t going to be like him.
I was going to work, and to provide my children with whatever their hearts desired.
I knew how I wanted my children to regard me, not as an unemployable nobody, but as a person of substance who was able to provide all of his family’s needs.

So here I am, a father to my son, and a father determined to give him whatever he may need in the future.
I’d show my father what it meant to be a real father.

I’d taken a job as a travelling salesman.
Selling was my forte and I knew I would earn really good money by doing well at it.
Unfortunately the drawback to the job was being away from home for long periods, but that wasn’t that important I thought.
The important thing was to provide for my son.
My frequent absences meant that I didn’t see very much of him as he was growing, and before I knew it he was walking and talking.
But wasn’t he a lucky little boy … his room was full of the most modern toys on the market, and he loved to play with them.

I tried, I really did, to play with him whenever I was home, but I was always so damned tired from all of my travels, and so I spent more time sleeping than awake.

Even when I was awake the constant phone calls from my boss and my customers seemed to occupy my every waking moment.
But, there was plenty of money available for him as he grew and he had everything he wanted.
He must have thought I was something special, because he would always say that he wanted to be exactly like me when he grew up, a good father and a good provider for his family.
I was so proud of him, and he of me.

I spent the following years keeping busy at my job and making sure that there was always plenty of money in the account for him to draw on.
Of course this meant I didn’t see that much of him, but hell, it was important that he had everything he needed wasn’t it?

Well, the years rolled by and my son had become a man himself and had gotten married.
It wasn’t long before he had his own family, and he was kept busy looking after them.

I had retired from my sales job and I’d call him up two or three times in the week, and although we chatted for a few moments, he always had to cut our call short because something was happening there which required his attention.

As I put down the phone after our last call it occurred to me that he had grown up to be just like me … too busy to even talk.

My long-dead Father could certainly have taught us both something about togetherness, and the sham of chasing money and possessions.