Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 79 years old. It’s crazy that he has been gone almost 10 years now. This year I became a mom and it makes me sad that my son will never know his One Pop period (that’s the name he wanted his grandchildren to call him, LOL) However, one of my greatest blessings is how much my son looks like my dad. It’s kind of like I get to see him everyday and my little boy.
The thing is I don’t want my son to just look like my dad. I want him to become the kind of man that my dad was. So, because I like making lists, here are five traits that I hope to pass on to my son to help them become a good man.
In no particular order here are 5 Traits of A Good Man To Pass On To My Son:
1. Sacrifice – Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for those you love. My dad never hesitated to step up and make a sacrifice for me, my mom, my brothers, my aunts and uncles, even cousins, and family friends. If you are among those he loved, and in need if he was in any way able to help you, he would do it.
This is a trait that I have somewhat inherited. If I were to compare myself to my dad I would definitely come up short. But I have definitely stepped up to the plate a time or two for those that I love. I’m thinking about a 17 hour drive from Florida with my cousin and the fact that my niece is currently living with me when I’ve gone on record many of times saying that I would never have a roommate again LOL.
2. Prioritization – As often as my dad went out of his way to help someone else I never ever ever doubted where I was positioned on his priority list. The needs of my dad’s wife and children came above everything.
3. Leave women smiling – My dad was a bit of a flirt. Not in that creepy old man kind of way. But I never saw him interact with a woman and not make her smile. He would find some way to make her laugh or give a compliment. There was no underlying expectation of her to respond in any certain way. It didn’t matter if they were an old woman or a little girl he would say something kind and complementary.
For example I had a friend named Cheryl. He rhymed her name with curls. Every single time he saw her he would say Cheryl with the beautiful curls. He did this our entire childhood. It always made her smile and feel pretty. But the kicker is her hair wasn’t even curly LOL. I think being able to make women smile without overstepping boundaries or making them uncomfortable is a wonderful trait that I hope I can impart on my son.
4. Treat all people with respect- Similar to how my dad could make women smile, in general he interacted with people in a pleasant way. He treated everyone with respect. My dad grew up poor in North Philly. But being a people person he knew people from all walks of life including former mayor of Philadelphia John Street. You would never be able to tell who he was talking to by the way he spoke to them. He treated everyone the same, with respect and value. It didn’t matter if he was talking to a person who happened to be addicted to drugs or to our former mayor he spoke and interacted the same way.
5. Faith – My dad was a man of faith. He was raised Seventh Day Adventist. He was not active in the church for many many years but was never far from God. He did get baptized around age 40. He was the spiritual head of our family. I went to church with him and learn Bible stories from him. An example of how strong his faith was was the fact that I do not have God Parents (people who would take care of me if my parents weren’t able).
One day I asked who my God Parents were. My dad explained that I didn’t have any. I felt a little cheated and asked why. He said because I prayed that I’d always be able to take care of you so you don’t need them. His faith was that strong. Because he had prayed he didn’t need to have a contingency plan in place for my care. My son has a godmother. So my faith isn’t quite where my dad’s was, LOL. But he taught me to trust and know that God always had a plan that was greater than ours. And that God would always be there to protect me. This is so important for me to pass on to my son. Which is part of the reason why he’s being Dedicated in a in a couple of weeks.
As a woman I know that there will be many aspects to manhood that I will not be able to teach my son first hand. But I will do my best to pass on these traits of a good man from my dads to my son as he grows into a great man.