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Born in the ‘sixties, my parents divorced, and my mom raised my sister and I on her own. By the early ‘seventies, I grew to believe I was the man of the house; old before my time, and took this responsibility very seriously, while understanding little of it.
I wanted to be sure my mom and sister were OK, and that nothing would threaten or harm them, and if I’d had means, I’m sure I would have tried to provide that as well. In the mid ‘seventies, my stepdad entered the picture and things changed dramatically:
Now I was no longer man of the house; he was. I could not think myself the protector of the family, and was too young to handle this task anyway. I clashed with my stepdad, thinking him an interloper instead of a savior.
When I grew older, I learned to respect and admire my stepdad, and later, shortly before my stepdad passed away, my dad came back into my life, and I learned more about my identity. By then, I was grasping more about what it meant to be a man, and what kind of a man I would or could be.
By my second marriage, not that I planned to be divorced, I realized the tremendous responsibility of being the man of the house. I find myself grossly lacking in ability, but am seeking to recover some of my better gifts, in hope of becoming a better husband.
Being the man of the house is not easy, but I am going to keep trying.