Fathers and Dads

19 06 2012

It is the 18th of June, and I just celebrated my very first fathers day, as a father.  Unfortunately our boys are in Nebraska right now with their Nana and Grampy.  They are having a blast I’m sure, but I do miss them.  This fathers day has brought some things into perspective though.  Let me explain.

The new Branch of the Barton Family

I always thought I would be the most amazing father.  I have so much love to give and can’t wait to share it with my children.  Looking back now on the time that I’ve had with Gabe and Finn, I feel that I haven’t been the father that I want to be.  I’ve been good about discipline and teaching them right and wrong, but I don’t think that I’ve been cherishing them like I should.  I’ve been thinking about what a “Dad” is opposed to what a “Father” is.  A Father is someone that has given life to a child.  You have fathered a child and have given them life, but a “Dad” is different.  A Dad is someone who has taught their kids right from wrong.  Someone who has shown their kids that they will love them no matter what they do.  No matter how many times they’ve screwed up or upset me, I will love them and they know that will never change.  A dad is the man in your life that you learn everything from.  How to throw a baseball, how to act at the dinner table, the man who teaches you how to play board games and card games.  The man that’s going to talk to you when your upset, and get advice from.

These are all things that my dad has taught me.  He’s always been a friend to me, but I know not to cross him.  I have a healthy fear of my father just as we should our heavenly father.  You know if you screw up your dad’s going to set you straight, but afterwards, he’s going to make sure you’re ok.  My father is now my best friend and my confidant.  I know I can go to him with ANYTHING.  He has taught me everything he knows, shown me how to play sports, cards, games, how to be a good worker, how to fix things around the house, and the 3 most important things he’s taught me…what it looks like to love GOD, how to love my wife, and how to be an amazing father.  Can you ask for anything more in a father?

So as this fathers day has come and gone, it’s now made me realize what being a father really means, with the 2 most amazing examples…God, and my Father/Dad/Friend, Rusty Barton.  I love you pops and I can now start to build my legacy as you have made yours live on through me and Josh.

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Relationships! Selflessly Selfish!

22 06 2011

As anyone can tell, I am most passionate about relationships.  Most of my posts are about relationships.  Whether it’s about friends or significant others, I love relationships.  They are soo tricky though!  Everything can be great one minute, and the next, it can be irreconcilable.  So intricate.  Let me look at the friendship part first then move on to the good stuff.

Friends at a Friends wedding...and me pimping the fedora!

I have a pretty decent group of friends.  True friends that care enough about me to inconvenience themselves.  But it’s not easy.  I’ve put a lot of time and pride swallowing moments into these relationships.  I’ve had friends who’ve slept with my Valentines date…not going to mention any names, but it’s the same butthead who also pissed in my shoe and I didn’t find out until 3 months later!  Dick!  I’ve also had friends who’ve come with me on a stake-out to see if I could catch my ex-wife cheating on me.  Not something you want to do at 7 a.m. but he did it.  But these relationships are tough.  I’ve been talking to a good friend of mine a lot lately about what it means to be a good friend and it really boils down to this.  Selflessness.  It’s really easy to be caught up in your own “stuff” but how often do you stop and ask your friend what’s going on?  Not just “hey, what’s up” but “Hey, somethings on your mind, and I’m not going to have another beer until you tell me what’s up!”  Yes, I’ve actually gone that route before.  It’s these friends that don’t care how awkward or tiring it is to deal with your “stuff”, but they care enough about you to hash this stuff out.  Friends are tough to maintain, but you’ve got to decide if they are people that you care enough about, to put in the work to maintain.  Everyone thinks friends are a dime a dozen.  Not true!  Acquaintances are a dime a dozen, friends are harder to come by.  I have friends, and then I have FRIENDS!  My FRIENDS I would do almost anything for.  They are the people that I can call for a stake-out.  Can I call you for a stake-out sometime….?  Well could I?  I’m not gonna write another post until you comment on whether I can call you for a stake-out!  I’ll bring the donuts and Dr. Pepper!

Now for the good stuff!  I love to talk about RELATIONSHIPS!  I mean your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/ estranged lover/Sancho kind of relationship!  Now friends are work, but this is on a whole other scale.  At first it’s easy!  You think about them all the time, you text them constantly, you call them for no reason but to hear their voice.  I love this stage of a relationship.  HONEYMOON STAGE!  But, it gets better.  Unfortunately it’s not as easy.  When you start building on a true relationship where you are sharing your life with someone, it’s tough.  Life is tough, and that’s just living your own, now try to mix in another selfish person, and some very selfish kids.  I say selfish, because it’s not in our nature to be selfless.  You have to train yourself to be selfless.  Try waking up and living your life for someone else.  That’s basically what a perfect marriage is I think.  If both people in the relationship wake up and do everything they do that day for the other person i.e. make breakfast that they like, fill the car up before you come home so they don’t have to worry about it, and stop by the store so you can pick up their favorite bottle of wine.  It’s these kind of things that bless the other person.  If everyone lived their marriage like this, there wouldn’t be a divorce rate.  But we are sinful, faulted people.  We can’t keep that up forever…unless we ask for help.  I fully intend on making this the model for my…next…marriage.  The person that I’m with better expect to have all of me forever!  I’ll be pouring on the blessings.  You’re going to have coffee in the morning, sweet texts throughout the day, flowers once a year…(i’m romantic, not wealthy!) and so forth.  I love to love.

Communication is the key to any relationship.  Serious or not.  If you don’t like something that the other person is doing, tell them.  If you feel that you can’t, then it’s not a healthy relationship.  Both parties should be able to be completely transparent with each other.  “hey, i’m not comfortable with you hanging out with this person, because of X, Y, and Z.”  The other person can re-act 1 of 2 ways.  “Ok, I don’t necessarily agree, but let’s talk about it”, or maybe, “you’re right, I really shouldn’t, I apologize, thanks for bringing it to my attention”.  Or the other way, “You’re always trying to ‘monitor’ who I hang out with, You don’t trust me!”  This is the sign of mistrust.  I’ve actually found that when someone in a relationship accuses the other of something that is unsubstantiated, then they are usually guilty of it themselves.  Communication though is the key.  If you can’t talk to the other person, then you shouldn’t be more than friends with them.

Selflessly Selfish!  You give soo much of yourself, that there is no other option than for someone to start giving back to you, it’s selflessly selfish.  It’s a selfless way to be selfish.  Make sense?

Let me know what you think on this topic.  I need feedback.  Share what you think!





Mothers Day!

9 05 2011

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see my mother on mothers day this year.  It’s always a busy day at the resort.  I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot lately.  I was thinking about what I could do for her, what can I get her to let her know how much I really love her.  I’m horrible at that stuff.  Besides, buying something for someone isn’t the best way to tell them you love them.  So, Mother, this is my way of saying “I LOVE YOU!”

MOM,

You have always been there for me.  I’ve gone through a lot in my time already.  You’ve always been the most supportive person in my life.  Anytime I’ve been down, you’re always there to talk.  If I’m down, you’ll sympathize with me.  If I’m upset, you’ll listen to me vent.  If I’m excited, you’re always there to get excited with me.  You’re not just going through the emotions though.  You’ve showed me what it really means to be a parent.  I have been thinking about this the last few days.

Through my divorce, you didn’t always just get behind me and agree with everything.  You’ve been there to try to reason with me, try to look at the other side of things and really try to work out the situation with me and help me understand what’s really going on.  A lot of people would just say, “she doesn’t deserve you” and that helps, temporarily, but to really help the situation, someone that loves you will tell you how it really is.  You’ve always been that for me.

I really can’t say how much you amaze me.  You’ve been there to bring us to church every sunday when we were younger.  That was hard I’m sure because we weren’t all the easiest to get to church, but you cared for us enough to fight with us every Sunday because you were the parent that truly wanted us to be God’s children.  You embody a parent that raises their kid in a Godly house.  Regardless of how difficult it was, you did what was right.  You gave us the foundation that God wanted for us.  I attribute my salvation to the hard work and perseverance of YOU.  You didn’t save me, but you did everything that God asked of you.  You kept going to church throughout the years, which I believe, ultimately saved our whole family.  You are the mother that I wish I would find in my future wife.

You have the strength that I could only hope for.  You’ve fought for your husband.  You’ve endured countless fights, arguments,  and struggles, and now you have 2 sons who would do anything for you.  You have a spirit that just can’t be broken.  Cancer kills a ton of people, but it will never kill your spirit.  To go through Chemo, Radiation and now this experimental treatment, and still have a passion for life and people that you do, is remarkable.

I’m excited for your retirement.  Yeah, you might go a little stir crazy at first, but you’ve also given your grandson, Ethan, the chance to have a glimpse of the childhood that Josh and I have had.  He will truly be blessed with the time that you give him.  I’m excited for that.

My one desire, is that my child will have that same chance.  I wish that you can see me be a dad.  I hope to be as good of a father as you’ve been a mother.  Just know that my child will be loved and brought up right, because that is the only example that I’ve ever been shown by you and dad.  I hope that I can have you’re strength to take my kids to church, fight with them in the morning to get them going, drag them to church knowing that I’m doing my duty as a parent.  God asks us to bring your children up with a relationship with him, and I know that’s not going to be easy, but you’ve set that example for me.

Mom, in conclusion, you’re the best mom I could have ever imagined.  You’ve trained your children to love God in a world that doesn’ t make that easy.  Josh and I know how lucky we are.  Your the most loving, supportive, understanding, caring, and determined mother I have ever known.  I know you wish that you could’ve given us more, and done more for us, but you’ve already given us the BEST childhood we could’ve asked for.  If we could be a fraction of the parent you were, I would be a happy guy.  Thank you for everything, and know that I LOVE YOU!  I don’t always say it, but you know it.  You’ve left your legacy that will not die with you, but will live on in our children.  You’ve shown us what a PARENT looks like.  You’ve blessed the Barton generations to come with your example of a MOTHER.  Thank you!