Wednesday marked a day of mourning for the entire country. Former president George H.W. Bush passed away Friday, just seven months after his beloved wife of 73 years, Barbara, died in April. His life and memory have been honored by many over the last several days.
Bush served as President of the United States from 1989-1993. Before that, he served as Vice President from 1981-1989. He had a long career in public service, serving as a U.S. Representative, Ambassador, and as the Director of Central Intelligence. He is known for being a great moderator, able to view issues from both sides of the aisle and attempt unity and harmony in his decisions.
One of the most touching reports from this past week was of his final conversation with his son and former president George W. Bush. Bush Jr. told his father he had been a wonderful dad. At the end of the conversation, Bush Sr., said, “I love you, too.” Those were his final words.
From what I know of this conversation, I know everything I need to know about the type of father Bush Sr. was. I am certain he was not perfect. No parent is. But any parent whose child calls him wonderful and any parent who says I love you has done their job well. I also think it’s important to note his final words were I love you, too, meaning his son said I love you first, something he surely learned from parents who expressed their love for him.
Parenting is vulnerable, but parents, don’t be afraid to put your love on the line. It’s hard, especially when you’ve been hurt by someone you love, but being vulnerable enough with your children to tell them you love them is much more important than you might think.
Parenting is vulnerable, but parents, don’t be afraid to put your love on the line.
It is difficult, I know. Being vulnerable in parenting often means giving your child affection that they simply will not return for one reason or another. And if you had a father who didn’t show you affection by hugging you or saying I love you, you may be terrified to try this with your own children. What will happen? How does it work?
Don’t be afraid. If I’ve learned anything from listening to boys talk about their dads in my pediatrician office, it’s that all kids want to be hugged by their fathers and told that they are loved by him. It might feel awkward at first, but it will be tremendously rewarding later.
If I’ve learned anything from listening to boys talk about their dads in my pediatrician office, it’s that all kids want to be hugged by their fathers and told that they are loved by him.
As you can see, George W. Bush grew up to be the president of the United States. I am sure having loving parents helped him get there. The proof is in his final words to his father: “I love you.”
We should all take a moment to mourn and celebrate the life of George H.W. Bush, how he served his country and most importantly, how he served his family.