June 27, 2012 by nateaddington
Some of you might know that I recently found out that I am going to become a father in early December. Today our ultrasound technician was able to let us in on the secret that I am going to be the father to a little boy! In honor of his big reveal to the world, I have compiled a list of the top ten things that every Catholic father needs to get his son.
#10 Jameson Signature Reserve WhiskeyJameson Irish Whiskey is a premier whiskey distilled in Cork, Ireland. The Signature Reserve Bottle might cost you a bit more, but this is no ordinary gift for your son, so go ahead and hit up the ATM for that extra $20. You might be thinking that you’ll have to wait 21 years to give this gift. Yes & No. A good father is able to teach his son about responsible choices and self control. You should plan to buy this bottle the day your son is born and let him know as soon as he is able to understand that this gift is for he and his father to enjoy on his 21st Birthday, at which point he and the bottle will have aged 7,665 days(not counting leap years), making his first drink with his old man well worth the wait.
#9 A Quality TentTeaching a boy he has what it takes to be a man is no small task for a father to shoulder. But, there is no better place to do that than the great outdoors. After all, Adam was formed in the wilderness outside of Eden, it is only fitting that a boy discovers he is a man there as well.
#8 A Louisville Slugger
There is nothing more important to families than tradition, and the 120 year tradition of this bat makes it a definitive American legend. Being Catholic is just as much a heritage as it is a faith, and the traditions of our Church run deep; 2000 years deep to be exact. If sports aren’t his thing that’s fine, but this gift is still a must for you because of what it says: “Some things always stay the same, faith, family, & baseball.”
#7 Something to Spark His Imagination
A child has to know that it is o.k. for him to dream, to get lost in thoughts of slaying dragons and rescuing damsels in distress. If he doesn’t learn this when he is young then it is almost impossible to teach him to pursue great heights when he is older. We were not created for mediocrity but for greatness. In my opinion there is no better way to teach your child to use his mind and to dream than by reading. Read to him, with him, and in front of him every chance you get.
#6 His First Set of Tools
I am far from being a handy man, that much is true. I can wire a new light fixture and hammer a nail, but beyond that I am next to useless. But the one thing I remember most about growing up is looking up at my grandfather and saying “let’s go build something!” We would go out to his shop where he must have had three of every tool ever made. We would nail pieces of wood together and drill holes with his large standing press. I’ll never forget when he gave me my first hammer to use as my very own. It was a ceremonial right of passage that didn’t require any certificate of completion or long speech, just a simple gesture that said “you can do it, you’re a man.”
#5 Golf Clubs
I took up golfing last summer and I might just be the worst golfer that has ever set foot on a fairway, assuming I could actually hit one. However, this past fathers day I was extremely excited to share the sport with my unborn child. A father and son need something that they can spend time on together as the years go by. Golf is one thing where no matter the age of you or your son, you can take an afternoon to go off and spend some quality father-son time together in a place where you have the chance to have some heart to heart conversations, hopefully that go deeper than my talent with a iron.
#4 A Teddy Bear
Most children get a stuffed bear in the early years of their lives and inevitably they become a source of security for the child. What most fathers fail to do, however, is to let their sons know that sometimes it is o.k. to be afraid. Too often we tell our sons to “be a man” or to “grow up” at the first sign of insecurity. But, if we are honest with ourselves, we are probably just as afraid as they are, though as adults our fears might have developed as we have grown older. As fathers we must be able to convey to our sons that it is normal to not have everything figured out, whether that be how to get rid of the monsters under the bed or some of life’s bigger questions.
#3 Something From His Forefathers
Teaching your son to value certain things is a hard task in our society where everything is disposable or upgradable. But a good father knows that some things, like honor, responsibility, and courage are not ideals that you just toss aside. I think the best way to teach your son that some things have value is to pass something on to him that belonged to your father or grandfather. Be that a watch, a pocket knife, or some other trinket, its important that the item have an inherent value that the boy can clearly see means something to you; and that it is no small thing for you to trust him as its caretaker.
#2 A Crucifix For His Room
Maybe it is not the first thing you think of when it comes to decorating the nursery, but unlike the crib and the mobile of dinosaurs, this is something that can stay in the room and with the the boy as he matures. It also sets the tone from the first day you bring him home that he is a child under the protection of our Lord.
#1 The Bible
Maybe the greatest gift you can ever give your son is a passion for the Word of God. I didn’t really start reading the Bible with great passion until I got into college, but once I did I knew that I had been missing the boat. If you want your boy to be a man of faith then the best place to start is by sharing the stories of other great men found in scripture. Peter, Paul, Abraham, Moses, and David, they all have something to teach our sons about what God requires of us as men, and the responsibility we have to those around us.
“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord” -Luke 1:14
I’d love to hear what else you think are essential things a good father needs to provide his sons, be it something concrete or something more abstract like lessons of life. Please post them below. Thanks!