One of the most interesting experiences for me in being a new dad is how I am starting to recall particular memories.
When you and your wife are expecting your first child, there is a certain type of mental activity that, I must assume, all parents go through.
You begin to see the world around you differently. You notice other people’s children and how they behave. When they do things that you think are right, you try to figure out how you will mold your own child to do that thing. When they are a nightmare, you go through the same exercise.
I am finding that I am re-processing little childhood memories of my dad and how he incorporated faith into our daily lives.
For example, at family prayers, we’d go through questions in a Catechism. To this day, I call still tell you the four cardinal virtues by using the phrase, “Toilet Paper Just Fell.” Translation: temperance, prudence, justice, fortitude.
Each evening, before we went to bed, we’d each bless each other by drawing a cross on each other’s foreheads.
He used to put up weekly bible versus on the refrigerator. Sadly, many military deployments disrupted that tradition. But, I still remember the first one. “Children are a gift from God, they are His reward.” I was four.
It is important to realize that your actions as a man make an impression on those around you, not just your children.
How you model the role of husband (and father) is seen and observed by both little eyes and grown eyes. As the saying goes, “More is caught than taught.”
So many entries in this Field Manual have asked you to look at the example you set and start to live the one you’d like seen. I do this again today. This time, pay extra attention to how you are showing your faith to your wife, family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.