Apples, Trees, and Falling

Happy New Year, from Colorado!!

I hope all is well with you and your family.  Over the last year I’ve learned much in my own life about prioritizing… and though it may be hard to hear, my family is more important than you. 😉  I have fallen into a routine, in posting on this blog, that prioritizes my wife and kids better.  You see I’m not great at planning ahead, so often these blogs are written/set up the same day they are posted… I need to get better at that, but until I do (or find someone to help me) I may not be as timely with current events or holiday posts because I’m enjoying them with my family first.

Since we are starting a new year, and this is the first post of 2019 I want to start with an analogy that I’m sure you’ve heard.  The phrase, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ is not new but it is apropos.  Not only is this cliche’ true, but the reason that it works this way (most of the time) is very valid to the theme of the next few posts, Being A Good Example.

An apple grows to its full ripeness on ‘the tree.’ It spends its entire developmental time attached to ‘the tree.’ If you are the tree, and your child – the apple, then you are growing them simply by your presence in their lives, and when they are ripe, they naturally fall from the tree – leave your house. While they are with you, they are getting what they need to be the kind of person your family tree produces.

The Original Cast of “Hiking with Johnny Appleseed”
(and yes that’s me in the front 😉 )

When you consider personalities and genetics, there are a lot of different types of people in this world. It is on purpose that you are the father of your child.  This is a truth especially poignant for you if you are not naturally inclined to guide and teach others.  Regardless of how they line up with your patterns of thinking, their affection for you will take patterns they see, in every aspect of your life, and begin to make them their own. That’s how God designed it to work and it has worked that way for ages. Not only that, but the scope of your ability to be an example to them only reaches so far, as I said before there must be some intentionality.

To continue with the example of the tree, the branches of an apple tree only reach a certain distance, and when the apple on the furthest tip of the longest branch falls it will still not be ‘far’ from the tree. Your children know only what you allow into their world, especially at first. While school and outside influences do affect their understanding of ‘things,’ most of ‘who your children are’ have been put into place by the time they are in kindergarten. This only reiterates the point that your influence on them makes them who they are, and it makes you a valid ‘advisor’ to the rest of their lives.

Photo by Sydney Rae

If you have missed this part of their lives, whether by your own choice or someone else’s, don’t be discouraged.  It is never too late to do the right thing, and sometimes doing the right thing means just being available for them. Being an example which is, in fact, the theme for the next few posts, is perfect for the absent father scenario because most of the time absent fathers (physically or simply emotionally) are not in prime position to become the teacher immediately when they come back into the relationship. Allow your child(ren) time to get to know who you are all the while being an example of who you want them to be, and let them see that – you don’t even have to say a word! Most of the time they will gravitate toward you, because you are who they want to be – even if they didn’t know you at first.

You got this! You’re being an example anyway…
so be a Good Example!