Through my work with Strengthening Families Illinois and Be Strong Families I've had the opportunity to spend some time with some really exceptional parents and professionals who have taught me a lot. Specifically, since becoming a Dad, I've beenable to bring my experience as a parent to the table and really think about Living the Protective Factors and what it means to keep myself and my family
strong. Through those experiences, I've been able to do some interesting things to help make the protective factors accessible to fathers like me...like...how would a Dad think about Parental
We've (SFI / BSF) been able to provide resources at father involvement
conferences and expos and have even held some events just for Dads like Confabs
and Dads only Cafes. Let me tell you...I've been to a lot of Parent Cafes over the years and they are mostly filled with women, with a spattering of men here and there. And that's okay. I've almost always had a positive experience and something to take away from every one, but I have to
admit that some of the most meaningful cafes for me as a participant and
facilitator / host have been the ones with just Dads in the room. It's hard to explain to you ladies out there (sad face), but you guys might understand (wink, wink). The way that men tend to communicate when there are just other men in the room is a unique phenomenon, worth exploring
later, but back to the point here.
Working on Dads Cafes and Confabs was how I got connected to a Dad named Khalid Scott. He's a Clinical Supervisor for the organization TASC, Inc. (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) and the father of a young woman, who I believe is in early adolescence. As is the experience with most people one might meet at a Parent Café, you're not going to (nor do you have to) agree
with everything that person says, but the environment creates an atmosphere of comfort
and respect that really allows one to be real and speak their own truth.
So guess what? Khalid and I are friends on Facebook and often I see his positive message floating across my feed. More often than not, I take a moment to check in to see what he's thinking.
(Hey—I'm the Dad of a little guy! I need all of the help I can get!) That's where I read this story, which I asked permission to share on this blog. For me it rang true because I'm someone who can get caught up in how the biscuit comes out. So check it out and see what you think. Take what you want and leave the rest. Comments are welcome and thank you Khalid for allowing me to share.
"When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then.
And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a
long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely "burned biscuits" in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing... never made a face nor uttered
a word about it!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and
then." Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's
real tired. And besides - a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"
As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone
else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults—and choosing to celebrate each other's differences—is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that's my prayer for you today... that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned
one will do just fine."
- Khalid Scott