Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brave

Father and Son HHI 2011
"When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened."
-Billy Graham

Growing up in Philadelphia you would think that I was a tough city kid.  I wish I was the one who won the fights and got the girl.  I wasn't much of fighter, and rarely ever got the girl.

In middle school, I was the kid in jogging pants and a Phillies jersey, not exactly the bad the boy the popular kids wanted to be around.  Actually, I like to think of middle school as a layer of hell found somewhere in Dante's Inferno.

There were moments where I found my self standing up to the class teacher more than the class bully.

I wanted to be brave.

As a father I see many of my qualities echoed in my son.  Some good, some not so good.

One quality I think he gets more from his mother than me is the ability to be brave.

This week we have the privilege of vacationing with my In-Laws at Hilton Head Island.  We can see the beach from our window and there is nothing like being at the beach.

This is definitely a step up from the Jersey Shore, but than again, I think most things are a step up from the Jersey Shore.

Going to the beach with a toddler who is 18 months old can be an adventure.
The ocean can be a very scary especially to someone who can barely see over the kitchen table.  However, making the most of the vacation time we headed for the beach the first day of the week.

As we came to the beach where the sand meets the water Keane had fun splashing and watching the waves come to shore.  That is until one of those waves knocked him over.

 Tears soon replaced his smile.

No one likes to be knocked down, no matter how old you are.

As Keane ran back to the shade of our umbrella and comfy beach chairs, I thought his day in the sun was over. A few moments later he was making his way back to tackle the waves again.

So we faced the ocean together hand in hand.

He got knocked down again, but he got up.
He no longer cried because of the waves,
He would now shout at the waves.

Watching my son I felt inspired to tackle my own waves in life.
It can be easy to turn your back on your fears and go where it is safe,
whether it be the shade of the umbrella or the comforts of the suburbs.

There is so much I want to teach my son,
to never give up and to persevere in tough times.

To have him learn from my example and be brave.

This time I found my self learning from his life,
This time I learned to shout at the waves.

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