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On the value of raising children.


This weekend I had resolved to rebuild about 85 feet of fence in my backyard. It's been up for over 20 years and was sorely in need of replacement. So, I went to Home Depot to purchase all the things I needed. You know, the 4x4's, the 2x4's, pickets, the Quickrete...etc. Once I got it home I staged my materials in the back yard and commenced to tearing down that sad old fence. It took about 3 hours to get the old mess totally reduced to a dump pile. Once I finished the demolition, I started laying out my posts, and trusty post-hole digger in hand, I started the real work. I had no more than gotten two holes dug and leveled than my son shows up to help. A few minutes later my daughter shows up with her husband to help as well.

Bear in mind, I didn't call them. They live in LA and I would never expect them to make that drive just to build a fence. I'm a grown-ass man who is more than capable of building a piddling 85 foot fence. But their mother had made an offhand remark about what I was doing and they jumped in with both feet. And let me tell you, they were open for business. In short order we had the posts up and level, concrete poured, and framing complete. In just a few hours, we were well past the halfway mark on pickets when we decided to take a break for some BBQ and beer courtesy of my two favorite women in the world.

As we sat there, the boys cracking jokes and talking about work, my daughter and wife talking over some obscure YouTube channel, I had the sudden realization that if I've done anything right in my life it was raising my kids. Without any thought to their own weekends, they both drove 3+ hours after hearing that "Dad was working on his fence", to make my task a bit easier.

We all have our trials and tribulations but we need to remember, nothing in this world counts as much as family. And no matter what the world tries to teach your kids, you have, by far, the largest impact on what sort of adults they will become. And it's a helluva feeling to see them be the kind of people you hoped they would be.