December 04, 2005

Does Anyone Own This Manual?

Ok, I admit it. I have a problem.
It's more of a compulsion.

I am in fact a book junkie. Fiction, non-fiction, any topic under the sun, I'm not biased. I love books and have every since I can remember. I never can have enough around me at any given time. Whether they are bought new, used, or loaned out from the library. If you were to look around our house you would likely find a book mark in any given 3 books you might pick up. Don't mistake this for not finishing a book; in fact I finish every book I start at some point in time. Some last longer than others, but they are always completed at some point. In fact it just means that I can't stick to just one book at a time. My wife has let it be known that if I continue to buy books at the current rate we are going to have to add a library branch on to the house . She likes to remind me from time to time that the "Southeast Branch" has reached capacity and needs to be reduced in that area of the house.

Over time I have spent a lot of money on books. I am always keeping an eye open for a sale at the local Barnes And Noble or Borders. The local library even knows me by name the moment I pass thru the door. I have been a very regular contributor to the library fund thanks to the overdue ones that I just can't take back because it's much too painful to let a good book go.

The fact is, out of all of the searching and buying that I do, I cannot find the one that I really want. The one that eludes me no matter how hard and long I search. I have been to every corner of the Net, every new and used book store in town, and the "Perfect Book" cannot be found. I really am starting to believe that this "Perfect Book" doesn't exist. I have heard rumors that a few select families own it and pass it along from generation to generation. I am really starting to think that the "Perfect Book" is just an Urban Legend and no such book exists except in a few father's heads that are in search of it.

The "Perfect" book is in fact a manual. A "How-To" manual of sorts......It's title?
"How To Be A Great Father"- author unknown.

I wish I could only get my hands on the manual for a few minutes. Oh what a read that would be. The pages of the manual would have to be fire retardant from the rate of speed of which the pages would turn in my hands. It's safe to say that you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. This indeed would be the "Perfect Book"!

I consider myself to be an adequate father. But who wants to just be adequate? No NFL team has ever won the Super Bowl by just being adequate. Michael Jordan was never referenced as an adequate basketball player. No, he was always adorned as being Great!

I want to be GREAT!
Is it even possible? Is there any such thing as a great father? I unfortunately don't have much of an example that I can use to make such an assessment. Notice that I don't write that I want to be perfect. I know that is an impossible task, I just want to be GREAT! I want to be the kind of father that Ayden will brag about to his friends. To be the father that never misses a ball game or a school play. Truth is, I want to be the kind of father that I always was in search of, and more.

I realize that being a great father is not for wimps. It will take a lot of hard work. In raising a child, no two days are the same. The most unfortunate thing is knowing how to do it. Where do I learn such a task? Does this manual really exist? Did the hospital forget to let me have it when we brought Ayden home? Is the library hiding it from me because they know that I wouldn't ever return it? Is there some kind of mass conspiracy in keeping the book a secret? Does the book belong to some secret society that has sworn to never share it's wonderful contents?
Let it be known that I am fantastic at keeping secrets.

So please..Does anyone out there own this manual?

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