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Am I a Good Dad….or a Great Dad? Part 2

After some reflection, input from great people (thanks Charles!), and some more stirring of my now oversized pot, I had a minor light bulb, of the low wattage variety, moment.

I have my question all wrong….. It’s true; I cannot even begin to understand how strange that sounds to my own ears.

The question shouldn’t be ‘Am I a Good Dad….or a Great Dad’; in fact the whole question is a moot point.

Why? Well here is the logic behind my change of mind. To ultimately know if I was a good Dad or a Great Dad, I will have to wait another 20 or so years to see how our boys grow into this world they are a part of.

Asking myself the question is just rhetorical because I don’t know what our boys are going to become. It’s in their hands and minds as individuals. For the want of a better way of telling you what I mean, take a look at this analogy and hopefully it will cast a better understanding on my way of thinking.

I have come to realize that I am more like a master glass blower and my sons are the glass I have to work with. They are the raw materials that are malleable, clear, untarnished and are about to have some heat applied to them…. metaphorically speaking of course.

Using the tools I have available to me such as wisdom, guidance, perspective, my own life skills, education and love, I can help shape their lives as time passes, giving them form, shape, colour and stability in the process. It is a labour of not only love, but also passion, time, patience, persistence and a steady hand, not mentioning getting a few burns along the way. The road always has potholes no matter the means by which you travel, it is inevitable and usually unexpected and painful.

Like any true craftsman, he reflects upon the work he is doing, it is a process to which he has dedicated himself. The work can be set aside from time to time if he is unsure of what he feels will delivery the best results. There is no need to rush something so delicate and as with our own children, you only get one chance to get it right. This is what distinguishes a craftsman from an amateur. The quality of the work is a reflection of himself, what he has learnt and how he applies himself to the task at hand. The smallest detail never goes unnoticed, yet the big picture of the completed work of art is never lost. The goal is to do one’s best with what you have and if you don’t have the right tools or skills, you better learn or buy them otherwise your masterpiece will never be finished.

So too is the fashioning of two pieces, they will never be alike. Even if I wanted them to be, they just wouldn’t comply no matter what. Expelling excessive amounts of energy into not just one, but two, distinctly individual pieces can be fraught with inherit dangers. Will they be compared, will one be favoured more, are they as equally important or balanced and the list goes on.  Even the end result, when it has been scrutinized, meticulously polished and gleams in the sunlight it will be unique.

From the final inspection right down to the positioning of the piece itself will loan itself to unique characteristics. Too much sun and the detail becomes lost in the light, not enough light, or worse, hidden away from the light, it cannot be seen or becomes misunderstood. These things the master craftsman has no control over.

The fate of his works are now out of his hands.

All his dreams can be laid to waste or become a beacon of hope.  Inspiration and trying to convey a thought or an idea can either be interpreted correctly or totally lost in translation.  Some truly inspirational artists have passed before the brilliance of their work even came to light. Others bathed in its glory and some might even go so far as to say that it finally corrupted their original intent.

Yet no matter the intention, the piece or pieces now have to stand the test of time, the scrutiny of others while still holding true to their intended meaning.  Unwavering in their resolve still comes back to the care that was instilled into the original pieces of work.

So there you have it. Suddenly I have gone from being a rank amateur to being a glass blower in training. Hopefully, in twenty years or so, I will have acquired the skills and tools I need to present to you two of the most unique, well crafted pieces of work that will be respected, admired yet down to earth works of art.

Until then, I am heading back my workshop; apparently I still have a lot of learning to do.  The answer to my question will finally fall to these two pieces that I am fashioning and then, and only then, will I know if I ‘Am I a Good Dad or a Great Dad’……… only time will tell…..