CREDOS : Father to son — I

Tom Ehrich

On the last hole, I sailed my tee shot into the lake. So did my 24-year-old son. So did my 13-year-old son. Like father, like son. After dropping off my clubs, I walked toward my son’s truck and saw two brothers sitting on the tailgate, chatting happily, leaning toward each other. I stopped to watch. “That is my legacy as a father.” Not money, not a guaranteed future. But a love that helps brother to love brother. Without claiming any unique expertise as a father, I would like to make six practical suggestions to my fellow dads. They reflect my observations as a pastor, remembrances from readers of my daily “On a Journey” meditations, and learning, sometimes difficult, from my own experience. First: Give time. Not money, not possessions, but your time. A reader remembers how her father “would run down the imaginary football field with a bunch of 15 and 16-year-old girls playing flag football. It brings tears to me eyes to think how lucky I am (that) it meant something to him to spend time with us and our friends.” Second: Heal what needs healing. A daughter remembers “daddy’s old bench” where he fixed whatever they brought him. “By fixing our toys, you mended our hearts,” she wrote to him. Whether the presenting problem is a skinned

knee, a bully at school, lost love, failure at work or confusion about decisions, we must heal the deeper wound, namely, that awful aloneness which only love can heal. —