Jason E. Fort
Like Father, Like Son
This post is overdue; I meant to post something about our recent momentous occasion the same day it happened - but graduation for my son has been anything but ideal anyway, in the year 2020. But when they projected the image of my son, now a young man (he'll be 18 in less than three weeks), up on the screen at the church service for graduates, I couldn't help but think of the picture I superimposed above, that I posted in a previous blog post about being a lucky man. And as far as raising my own young man, I realized we have a lot more in common than just the fact we like our trucks.
I wanted to be a dad my whole life, and raise a son the way my dad raised me. And overall, I think all the hours spent together have left a lasting impression on him. Let's face it, I am a Christian; he's a Christian. I love my country; he is about to serve his country. I love my family, and never plan on moving away from family; he plans on serving at the local branch of the Army National Guard, and then attending mechanics school just two hours away from home. And I think he realizes that he wants to stay pretty close to home when all his training and career preparation is done. I love my church and serve it regularly; Jay's own youth pastor said that he has a servant's heart. He has been more active with the church youth group than even ROTC at the high school; reminds me of another young Jason when he was growing up :)
I love to watch action movies to escape 'reality' (although current events are not too far off the mark from the types of movies I watch), and so does my son. Just before the last Avengers movie came out, I remember Jay and I watching each and every Marvel movie leading up to the release of the grand finale. I like to shoot guns; I think my son actually likes to shoot a little more than I do; I like handguns, while he tends to enjoy shooting the long guns.
It rubs me all over when someone blatantly has disregard for sensible rules, and ignores or refuses to follow them, just out of spite. I've come to realize my son is the same way. Although he has seen and heard my thoughts on politics and religion through the years, this aversion he has for defiance and obnoxious behavior seems to be innate. I also know the same to be true for both of his grandfathers. I think this trait helped him avoid a lot of bad decisions growing up, and will hopefully help him avoid bad situations as he grows older. I know this pet peeve of mine is what led me to a career in law enforcement, but I also think it contributes to both mine and my son's dislike of large crowds. He and I both know, in large masses of people, the likelihood of deviant behavior increases.
Both myself and my son cling to logic. That is why it rubs us the wrong way when people, whether large groups of them, or an individual - do something really dumb or ignorant... it's like nails scratching down a chalkboard! Unfortunately, this leads to either one of us being set off a little too easily into a rant and maybe even a bad mood. Oh well; we all have our faults.
Speaking of faults, I have to say, my son might even have his old man beat - when it comes to stubbornness. Stubbornness, or perhaps iron willpower (haha) tend to run in the family, and my wife and I both have seen that my son can dig his heels in with the best of them (or should I say worst of them, like his dad?).
Perhaps I have been a little hard on him over the years. It turns out he sure did grow up to be a lot like his father, my amazing lack of math ability aside (math comes easy to him). My favorite qualities about him are his sense of right and wrong, and his servant's heart. I protect and serve teachers and students at a school; he will protect and serve his country and his state. There have been nostalgic moments along the way, where I had flashbacks of my dad and some of the times we had as he raised me and my two brothers. It has been such an honor to experience the journey of fatherhood. My son may have a memory that is pretty close to photographic, and he may be a math whiz. He may hate being in the spotlight, while I don't mind getting up in front of an audience at all. He may never get into weightlifting like I did.
But when it comes to the things that matter most in this life, the phrase "Like father, like son" have never been more evident to me.
I look forward to seeing what God's plan has in store for him next.