Jeff Schumacher, Publisher

It’s always there. You just never know when it is going to show up. It seems like you try to fight it off as long as you can, but it’s just too strong to suppress.

What is this thing I am describing?

It’s the part of you that, bit by bit, turns you into your dad. That’s not a bad thing, but we all want to be our own man. We all want to be as good as our father, but we want to have our own identity.

Well, at least in my life, it doesn’t work that way. I’ve slowly and most definitely become my dad.

How do I know? Well, it started a long time ago with the way I began to walk, as I got older.

People would say, “You and your dad walk exactly the same.” That in itself wasn’t anything that set of alarms.

But, slowly over time, other things began to show up. I would say things and think, “that was my father talking.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I looked up to my dad my whole life. I still do. He just turned 80, and is still working on the farm, planting, cultivating and working the annual harvest. Pretty darn good for someone who said he retired 15 years ago.

Even though I look up to him and admire what he has accomplished in his life, I still want to be my own man. And, in some ways I am.

I didn’t go into farming, opting instead to get into the crazy media world.

I didn’t stay in one place, opting instead to see the country as opportunities presented themselves.

But, that is about where the individuality stops.

I find myself saying things like, “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” or, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

These are just the silly things that I remember my dad saying to me. I would bet you all have similar things that come out of your mouth that have the same memory kick in after you say them.

But, the one thing that truly cinched the deal for me was a couple of weeks ago, when I had to discipline one of my children.

After explaining that my son couldn’t play Xbox for 30 days, I saw the huge disappointment in his face.

I told him that I still loved him, but there are consequences to every action. And, this was his consequence.

That wasn’t the part that reminded me that I was becoming my father. All dads have to be an enforcer once in a while.

What did it for me was one night I looked at him and said, “how would you like to play Xbox for a couple of hours?”

That was it. I had become my father. I remembered back when I would do something I shouldn’t and my dad would ground me or take away my car.

Then, as the days went on, I could see the agony in his face of watching me not being able to do the things I loved to do.

So, he always broke down.

And, so did I.

I remembered the feeling when my dad gave in just a little. And I watched my son’s face light up as he ran toward me to give me a hug and say “Thanks Dad, I love you.”

Just like if it were me 40 years ago. That was a great moment, reliving the past but holding the future in my arms.

This is a good thing. I’m glad I inherited this trait. It shows that God has entered my heart, and that my father knew by teaching me this type of compassion, I would in turn use the same compassion with my children.

And, he was right. My dad is a deeply religious man, and he taught me much about the way Jesus wants us to treat other people. But, more important, he taught me how to be a man, walking in the way of the Lord.

So, as I age, I tend to see more and more of my dad in me. I find myself thinking more and more like he did. I find myself looking at people and their needs like he did.

And, I thank God every day that he is my dad.

Sometimes becoming your father is a good thing. In my case, it’s a great thing.

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