Years ago, while in the Air Force, I received an emergency notice that my father had passed away. For those of you who served our nation, you can appreciate the complications that were now presented.
I am very glad the military allowed me to attend my father’s funeral, but I needed to return the next day.
I was very proud of my father. He taught me a lot, even though I only saw him a few weeks out of the year because my parents were divorced. Even spending a little time with him had a huge impact on my life. According to my mom, I was quite the handful in my younger years. I find that hard to believe — ha ha.
My father left me many things, most of which are only special to me.
As an example, I recently came across a note from my dad that said in part, “I am proud of you, son.”
It means a lot to me to know that he was proud of me. I was reminded of the summers I spent with him. I remember the places we went, the experiences we shared and the lessons he taught me.
When I married my bride, my family grew from two to six. I now had two adult sons. As their stepdad, I cannot take credit for the men they have become. But, I can share that I consider them my sons and I am very proud of both of them.
My question to you is, when was the last time you wrote a note to your kids telling them that you are proud of them? Do not just say it. Write it down and give it to them. These words are extra special because they come from you.
Do not underestimate the impact a father can have on his children, even if it is just setting a good example. As a judge, I can share that the more time you spend with your kids, the less time they will spend with me.
LESSON FROM THE BENCH: Anthony and Brandon, I am very proud of you both ... Dad.
Judge Donald Watts’ web page is DonaldWatts.info.