By Bruce Callan
Bruce and Kathie Callan just celebrated their 23rd anniversary. As a blended family, they have two boys and two girls from previous marriages who are now 25 to 43-years-old, and three grandchildren. They are a proud foster family that has cared for many teens in the past five years, and are looking forward to their next experience of providing a loving home to a young person at a time of need.
When I was asked to write a blog about Father’s Day, I looked back at my childhood and remembered my father as the head of our family. He would spend time with my brother and me, taking us to Judo and hockey. We were taught responsibility by making sure that our chores were done. If we didn’t complete our chores, we would face consequences, but when our work was done our time was free to spend as we liked. We had great family vacations going fishing, travelling on a boat for a week at a time, or going to Myrtle Beach.
Today, I have two wonderful daughters and three grandchildren who are very much a part of my everyday life. Two of my proudest days as a father were when my two daughters got married. On each occasion, I walked them down the aisle to give them away. Last summer, my oldest daughter and her family spent a week at our family cottage with my wife and me. It was a wonderful time for everyone – going on boat cruises and playing on the beach near our cottage.
As a family, we make sure that we are all together for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and many other special occasions. Father’s day is another of these very special occasions when we express the importance of family, being together, and supporting each other.
We are also a foster family and, as a foster parent, I have tried to be a father figure for the many children who have come into our lives. I believe each and every child who has lived with our family is better for having spent time with my wife, myself, our children, and grandchildren. We try to help each child who comes to us understand how a family should be there for each other.
One of my proudest memories is of an email message I received last year from one of the children who lived with us:
“Happy Father’s Day Bruce! Thanks so much for everything. You’ve been a huge father figure to me, to the point where I’d call you Dad! One day isn’t enough for me to tell you that you’re very special in my life. I’ve got a big spot for you in my heart, thanks for being the best guy to me! Love you and hope to see you soon! Give Kathie a big hug for me.”
So this Father’s Day, let’s make sure that we reach out to our fathers and our families and make it a special day for everyone.
The Family Assets framework takes Developmental Assets to a deeper level. These assets are the everyday interactions, values, skills and relationships families can focus on to help them thrive. In good times and challenging times, children, teens, parents, and other family members all play a part. Read more