The most important gift that a father gives a child is his name, his last name. That name is handed down from generation to generation and for many a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the building of the reputation of that name. That name carries with it, the weight of many years of experiences, decisions and actions of the father. How a man lives his life has a huge impact on his child’s self-esteem and self-worth. How many times have we heard “that child is one of the Smith’s children” and we instantly make a determination, good or bad, about the child based on the reputation of the family name. A case in point, last year we watched Arnold Schwarzneggar's public fall from grace. There had been rumors for years that he was a womanizer but now we learned that he not only had an affair with their house keeper but had a child with her. His teenage son’s immediate reaction was that he wanted to change his last name,there was no longer honor in his father’s name. When we take the role of fatherhood for granted and don’t give it the respect it deserves, there is no longer honor and integrity in giving our children their father’s last name. Every child deserves to hold their head up high with pride in their voice and to announce their last name. I want my son’s to be proud to be a K (due to privacy, not writing our last name) because their daddy lives with honor, integrity along with a moral compass. Our last name is something that I teach the boys to be proud of. I often use our last name to instill pride in them “We are the K’s and we belong together.” “You two are K brothers forever”. “We are K’s and we don’t behave like that."
I am fortunate Dan is a great father but then again he was raised by a man that lived his life by the important virtues of family, community and God. Dan’s dad, Bob, built a legacy for his children that they can all be proud of and hold their heads up high. He gifted to them a reputation that is now important for them to carry forward for their children. The legacy that I see Dan passing down to the boys is one of hard work and family. Dan is usually out the door before the rest of us are out of bed and he gets home in the evening. No matter how tired he is he always makes time to play with the boys. Bei is CRAZY for his dad. He usually starts asking about Dan about 3:00 p.m, saying he misses him and then makes me call him at least twice. Dan is wonderful about taking his calls and is patient with him. To be honest, I think it makes Dan giddy that Bei loves him so much. Then when Dan walks through the door you better be out of the boy’s way because there is a mad dash to get the first hug from dad. The weekends are usually family time. If we aren’t at the cabin, we are doing project work because it is in Dan’s blood to always be working. Our kids will grow up knowing how to do a lot of different stuff because of Dan. Bei has already used a lot of tools, like a hammer, saw, drill press, power- nailer, staple gun with Dan safely and patiently helping him along the way. I am grateful that my boys have such a wonderful dad, who will pass on an important gift which is a good reputation by the way that he lives his life.