4 things i want my sons to know by Joel Bennett

River bennett ( Photographer River Bennett)


I've been a Husband for nearly 13 years and a Dad for 10 years now to the 3 amazing boys we call THEWOLFPACK. I think sometimes they have taught me more then I teach them. I find myself, when I sit on airport runways about to take off overseas, scoring myself out of 10 on how I've been as a father. 

Usually I don't pass my hard expectations, but sometimes I surprise myself.
Between the trips away, late nights and work vying for my attention, I have to remind myself to check into life when I get home. I often hear from River, “When you get home you are on!”, meaning they have been waiting for me and she is ready for some time alone. Ha.

I remember Zion being born and I wish I could tell you I felt the feelings that River had felt for 9 months - feelings of connection to the life growing inside of her. For me my first moments of Fatherhood were in Protection Mode, protecting this little creature we had called Zion because he was born 9 weeks premature. If the Dr's had of got it wrong God forbid!
But those first 4 years of life, for every one of my boys, has been all about their Mum, but at 5, the magical number 5, all of a sudden it's like their attention changes from just Mum and they realise that the big arms that rocked them to sleep late at night, the deep belly laugh and the beard tickles on their neck from their Dad were the best thing ever.

Soon the life of a boy is no longer just dependent on Mum but now it quickly turns to, “What’s Dad got for me?"

While I have tried to be present with my boys whenever possible, and miserably fail more then I succeed, there are a few lessons I'm trying get the WOLFPACK to learn:

1. Life is fast.

Take it slow, don't try and speed up life, don't grow up too fast, stay inquisitive and curious but stay innocent. Guard your eyes because what you see cannot be unseen. So take it slow, don’t rush at life, don’t get ahead of yourself. 

I've tried to teach myself this, as I still remember my now 10 year old son, as a newborn in the ICU with tubes. I constantly tell them. Don't grow up too fast. I like the idea that they can be Peter Pan forever.

2. Don't talk while the sport is on.

Understand the sanctity of sport on TV. Remember to wait for the ads and if I'm sitting forward on the chair with my leg ferociously moving like I’m kicking the ball, or running, it's obviously important - so just wait for my attention! Unless you've broken a bone / cut your finger off / or broken something of mum's don't talk till the sport is finished! (Come on boys, it’s just plain and simple : if you’re not dying, it can wait. HAHAHA)

3. Respect women

Today people would tell us that women are just as good as men - and they are, as far as their value and worth is concerned - but their female-ness is unique and deserves to be appreciated and celebrated. It requires me, the Father, Male in our house to show that they need to be strong examples to other boys. 

I have always tried to teach our boys that being male doesn't mean you're better than a girl, or even stronger. I want them to understand that girls / women / females are strong, beautiful but not to be messed around with. Their hearts are different, and their bodies are different so respect them, never MISTREAT them. In an age where everything is over sexualised I'm trying to teach them to keep the mystery!!! Keep the respect. Don't treat her in an inferior way, but always treat her well. Open the door for them, smile, be nice, don’t treat her like 'one of the boys', don’t fart in front of her - for goodness sake! 

4. Love your Mum

I like to buy flowers for Riv every fortnight when I'm home and I always try and take one of the boys with me to buy them. I give them the card or the cash and tell them to ask for what I ask for - a small bouquet that she'll love (I've learnt to trust my local florists Nina and Simone)...
The boys come home and pass the flowers to her and she feels like a million bucks. It doesn't require all the $'s in the world to make your Mum feel great. It’s simple things. So I do my best to display this with little kisses, hugs and a lot of laughter. 

Their are so many other lessons I'm trying to teach my sons. Little things like pick up your towels, put the toilet seat down (and aim straight!), be careful what your eyes see, play sport, if you're going to punch make it count, if your gonna cry - do it just don't whinge, love art, get adventurous, tackle hard, have a go, win win win, love roller coasters, Dragons are our team even if they lose, skateboard not rollerblade, walk with your shoulders back, talk slow, breathe deep. THERE ARE SO MANY MORE.

The lessons go on and on. And when I score myself on teaching these lessons most days I'm a 1 or 2 out of 10 but when I look back and I see how the boys treat Riv, I smile a lot, or breathe deep, I say just maybe I have passed in some areas.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all the Dads out there!
signing off, 

THEWOLFPACK threads by featherdrum , dukeoflondon , beauhudson
THEWOLFAPCKMR threads by bronzesnake