Hi Dr. Laura:
You read an email recently that got me thinking about my Dad. He was born in rural Kentucky in the 1930s and had an awful childhood. His father was an alcoholic and was verbally and physically abusive to all four of his kids and my wonderful grandmother.
Grandma made the choice to leave Kentucky and her husband and moved to Chicago with the kids. Despite the negative role model of a man my dad had growing up, he made the conscious choice to be the opposite when it came to fathering me and my brother. He hardly ever touched alcohol, coached my little league baseball teams, took us fishing every summer and ultimately became the best teacher I ever had.
He passed away in 2003, but his positive role modeling continues to have an impact to this day. My wife and I have four kids and my son now has a toddler of his own. All of us benefit from what my Dad did. I'm proud of all my kids, but I'm particularly proud of the Dad that my son is to HIS son. All because of the best teacher I ever had. Of all the things I've accomplished in my life, being a good Dad is what I'm most proud of.