A Great Dad Allows Tim to have His Place

March 26, 2013 · 0 comments

in Dad Teaching Moments, Great Dads

Tim's Place: Breakfast, Lunch, and hugsOne of the biggest internal battles I have with myself when I’m deciding whether or not to grant permission for one of my kids to engage in some activity is whether I’m basing my decision on my love and concern for my child’s well being, or whether I’m afraid of what others might think of me if I allow or don’t allow the activity.

For example, I greatly regret discouraging my son from participating in our church choir several years ago.  At the time he was nine or ten years old and he wanted to follow dad to choir practice and sing in the choir.  He’d never been in a choir before and had no idea what it meant to harmonize and sing in parts and so naturally during that first rehearsal he wasn’t in synch with the rest of the choir.  And unfortunately we had a small choir so anyone who was not singing in tune would stand out.

I was embarrassed and felt bad for the choir director because my son’s tagging along meant it would be very difficult to get the choir to sound good.  From the next few weeks I discouraged my son from participating.  I don’t remember what I said or did but soon my son stopped going.  And now every time he sings to the radio in the car, I feel deep pangs of regret and shame, partly because he has a nice voice and I squashed any desire he might have had to develop it.  More importantly, I’m sure it couldn’t have helped his self-esteem to be told he wasn’t good enough to sing in the choir.  Plus, it was a wasted opportunity to do something together.

With all of this in mind I couldn’t help but admire a great dad who allowed his down syndrome son to not only go off to college by himself  but to also open his own restaurant called Tim’s Place.  I can only imagine how hard it must have been to say goodbye to their son and know that mom and dad wouldn’t be around to protect him or help him 24/7.  And I imagine that there were probably naysayers who felt it was irresponsible of mom and dad to allow their child to be on his own like that, who may have thought that the parents were passing the buck of responsibility of caring for their son to the school.

Thankfully mom and dad had the courage to allow their son reach for his dream, to stretch his abilities, to learn how to become independent, and to potentially fail.  It’s a very touching story.  Here’ s the link:

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/15/174328613/a-good-enough-dad-and-his-special-son?sc=ema

 

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