Blue Water Healthy Living

Gratitude for Dads

Dear Readers: Happy Fathers Day! In this poem, William Wordsworth celebrates being able to see the world through his son’s eyes. He celebrates the childlike wonder that his son has, a playful curiosity that is too often lost in adulthood.

Being a great father includes being empathetic to your child and seeing things from their perspective to meet them where they are. There is nothing more powerful than when a dad gets down on his knees to meet his young son or daughter on eye level. It is through this type of understanding and compassion that a child will develop healthy self-esteem and know that they can do and be anything in this world. The greatest gift a dad can give a child is to believe in them.

“Anecdote for Fathers”
I have a boy of five years old;
His face is fair and fresh to see;
His limbs are cast in beauty’s mould,
And dearly he loves me.
One morn we strolled on our dry walk,
Our quiet home all full in view,
And held such intermitted talk
As we are wont to do.
My thoughts on former pleasures ran;
I thought of Kilve’s delightful shore,
Our pleasant home when spring began,
A long, long year before.
A day it was when I could bear
Some fond regrets to entertain;
With so much happiness to spare,
I could not feel a pain.
The green earth echoed to the feet
Of lambs that bounded through the glade,
From shade to sunshine, and as fleet
From sunshine back to shade.
Birds warbled round me — and each trace
of inward sadness had its charm;
Kilve, thought I, was a favored place,
And so is Liswyn farm.
My boy beside me tripped, so slim
And graceful in his rustic dress!
And, as we talked, I questioned him,
In very idleness.

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Dear Annie: I am writing to tell you my story about adopting a child and hope it will help others. Back in the 1980s, my wife and I were considered an “infertile couple.” After years of trying, we were unable to have children. So, with much thought, we decided to adopt.

Adoption was a very long and time-consuming process. One of the requirements was to write a brief history of how you grew up. I wrote about playing catch with my dad in the weeds in the backfields and how he took the family on vacations almost every year.

Back then, our state had what they called “semi-closed” adoptions — only medical information was divulged. When we submitted our stories, our caseworker went through them to redact any identifying information. Those stories, along with other information, were part of our file. Our files were given to the birthmothers. They would go through the stack of files to make their choice of parents for their child. When we submitted the stories, our caseworker told us that it’s just a waiting game, and that it could be another two or three years.

To our surprise, we got the call only two weeks later. A baby boy! We couldn’t believe it! I asked our caseworker why so soon. She confessed that, after she read my story, she thought we would be picked quickly. She explained that birthmothers aren’t looking for mothers; they are looking for fathers. They look for adoptive fathers who had a good relationship with their fathers. I’ve never forgotten that and tried to spend as much time with him and my other sons as I could. Please, dads, spend as much time as you can with your children. It will pay more dividends than you realize. — Forever Grateful Dad

Dear Forever Grateful Dad: Thank you for your heartwarming letter. You sound like a wonderful, caring father. Your gratitude for your father is heartwarming, and I believe that same gratitude will continue with all your sons. Bravo! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to


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