If there’s one thing that is
essentially challenging yet equally rewarding job in the world, then that would
be no other than parenting.
Aside from assuring that the basic
necessities for all children are met, the social, emotional and psychological
upbringing should also be compatible with the struggles that life has to offer.
As for this Russian father, being a good provider is not just enough. For him,
fatherhood is defined on how brave you have risen to the challenges of becoming
the epitome of a good role model to those who are next-in-line or at least for
the bold ones who are willing to sacrifice singlehood in pursuit of family life.
A Russian father shared this on
(English is not my native language,
please be kind)
One morning I came down the stairs,
seeing this exact scene – my 17 year old daughter with a young man, asleep
after what must have been a night of ‘hard labor’. I very quietly made
breakfast, went back upstairs and told my wife, son and other (youngest)
daughter to be very quiet because people were still asleep.
Our dinner table is on the other side
of the room, about 20 feet from the couch but right in front of it. we all sat
down and I yelled “YOUNG MAN” – never ever have I seen someone wake up and move
from horizontal to vertical that fast. “Breakfast is ready!” I said with a tone
as if I gladly would suck his soul out of his body. I pulled out the chair
beside me. “Sit!” my family was silent, staring at their plates, not even
It must have been the hardest 20 feet
for a butt naked youngster to cross. Trying to hide his, I must say, rather
impressive morning wood. My youngest daughter looking in awe at said piece of
wood, as did my wife. After he put on his clothes, which lay beside the dinner
table, he sat down. My son (6’4″) patted him on the shoulder, looked him in the
eyes, sighed and shook his head. By now he was really, really nervous. You
could almost smell it. In my best Russian accent: “My friend, I’m going to ask
you a question. The answer you give is very important…. for you.” At this point
he was sweating.
“Do you like cats?”
He was a very likeable and friendly
guy. Clearly uneducated but not dumb. There was something odd about him. My
daughter assured me he was a very nice and attentive guy. She knew him for
about a month by then. He came by every day since that morning, never stayed
Every morning he came to pick her up
for school on his bicycle, brought her home after, and made sure she did her
homework. He looked after her when she was sick and we were at work. He invested time end effort. He had the patience of an angel when she had one of
her terrible moods.
He said he had no family, no
education, no steady job. She adores him. He adores her. Who am I to prevent
her from learning from her own mistakes?
After this had been going on for
about 8 months my son came to me. He had been asking around about him. It turns
out the guy was homeless. His abusive father killed himself. His mother, a
crackhead, took off three weeks after that. They lived in a rented trailer. He
was 15 then and survived for three years on the streets – sleeping in parks, at
the Salvation Army, with “friends”, cheap hotels. He worked construction jobs.
Now, there I was. I knew a young man,
18 or 19 years old, who was polite and comes in smiling; who leaves smiling;
who cares; who helps, no need to ask; who makes my child happy. This is a kid
who never had a chance to be a kid.
Sometimes when he does not come over
because he has a job, we miss him. They are not buddies, but my son gets along
with him very well. My youngest daughter trusts him unconditionally and my
wife’s motherly instinct seems to have expanded. And me? I sometimes worry for
him. I want him to be happy.
I told my wife and youngest daughter
what I learned about him. They cried. I had a hard time telling them. I was
disappointed in my oldest daughter. She knew. She should have told us. She
loves him and lets him leave every night to go….where????
The next day I gave him a key of our
house. I told him I expected him home every night. Home. In the next few weeks
we fixed our spare room and took him shopping for furniture. He was quite good
at making things. He wanted to be his own boss, he liked building things. We
saw to it that he got an education which enabled him to do just that.
That was in 2000. Now, 15 years
later, my found son and my daughter have a thriving business. They gave us our
three beautiful grandchildren. Last year, twins. 1 girl, 1 boy!
Oftentimes people would complain
about the life that was given to them. For some, a burdened life is nothing but
a barren land. However, while some are close to giving up, there are also a
handful who are willing to stand up regardless of the times they stumble and
fall. Thanks to the good Samaritans who are always willing to extend an extra
hand and hope. Somehow, what used to be a hopeless case is now as brand as new.
For their case, both the young man and the father are living testaments of hope