So it wasn’t long before I got reminders from my 9 year old son Adam that I had to give “the Talk” to my 12 year old son, Cesar. Therefore, after several nags from Adam, I finally just pulled the trigger and sat down with my oldest son ‘Little Cesar’ to give him the talk about the “birds and the bees.” I will attribute the ignition of this conversation by one of my favorite childhood shows “The Wonder Years”. One night we were watching an episode where the high school coach drew out human body parts that I was able to explain later to my son on a white board.
One thing to note is that the idea of a parent from my semi-conservative upbringing is that we are to use our best judgement when dating a girl that we thought would be best for our future family. I dropped my experience of several girlfriends with my son on why I believe they didn’t work. I also told him the reason why I married Xochitl, his mom and why our marriage has lasted so long (13+ years).
I firmly believe for this marriage to have worked so long it had to be explained in great detail to my son. It’s a Jesus Christ centered marriage with the fullness of The Catholic Faith. We have instilled the same values of our Catholic faith to our 3 sons. It wasn’t always that way though. I was a cradle Catholic and living a very secular life. Maybe too extreme to the point where I almost lost my marriage.
As an engineer, I always find ways to fix things. Therefore, I knew what was missing in my life wasn’t more TV show watching, or more chasing a new business opportunity, or starting over with a new relationship. It came down to one thing and one thing only… We needed to strengthen our understanding of what it means to be a Catholic and a Catholic family. That is where I found peace. That is where I found to be the most humble.
For those that have a preconceived notion of what it means to be a Catholic because of the other 40,000+ denominations that took off from the Catholic religion… Simply put, it’s the Fullness of the Christian faith that Jesus started with Peter in year 33 (Matthew 16:18). It was like that for 1500 years until “Man” screwed it up.
I share with my son that I remember dating a few girls in my young adult years that felt trapped because they “wanted to be free to do whatever they wanted to do without guilt.” Therefore, they either made fun of people at church or they simply made fun of me for wanting to take them to Sunday mass.
For those that understand that it’s a “Mortal Sin” to miss mass on Sunday, don’t miss mass. We go because like oxygen, the soul needs more of Jesus to breathe. Catholic means “Universal” Christians. Meaning everyone, even you. I remember one of my ex-girlfriends throwing it in my face stating “You think you’re perfect because you and your family go to church on Sundays…” As much as that hurt, I simply didn’t know how to respond to that at the time — But I will now. I simply go to mass on Sundays because I know that I am far from perfect. I need more of Christ in my life because I live in a secular world surrounded by folks that are lost and need prayer too.
I know what you were expecting wasn’t my conversation about faith in my son but just like a secular person would try to be their children’s best friend, I was just being a Father. I believe the role of a Father and a Mother in a family household stands strong as each has their own roles to complete for the family. It’s almost as natural as not having each other compete for a win of a job. Mom doesn’t cut half the grass and dad doesn’t cut the other half. Everyone naturally should know their role through the family. There’s a sense of peace and understanding when that is put in place.
I spoke to Cesar regarding his body changing. His natural desire to like girls and have desires for dating them. Additionally, I told him it’s a lot easier when you meet a girl who is from a Catholic family and you both can grow together in the faith “after you finish your educational goals.”
The reason I married Xochitl was because I saw a loving desire for family in her as I had. I wanted children and I knew someday I will be sitting with my son having this talk about the importance of family, the importance of woman to come from a good family, and if it’s God’s will to have children and pay it forward.
I use to think it was the woman’s role to take care of these things and the man goes out and makes the cheddar. After studying many books like Men’s Spirituality by Philip Chavez, I know that it’s important for a father to step up to their children and build them on the rock.
Love them. Raise them with good morals and values. Show them how to respect and treat their elders with respect. Be less about selfishness and be more about serving and loving others.
Share this message with everyone you care about because the common sense thing to do these days is to give up. I like to think I’m unique, I’m uncommon, I’m different. In reality it’s the way it should be. Isn’t it?
May the Love, Respect, and the Light of Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.