Chad Hennings: I’m thankful for the joy of raising resilient children

I have been extremely fortunate to have many unique experiences in my life. I grew up on a farm in Iowa where I learned the great American work ethic demonstrated by my father and grandfather. I was able to attend a military academy where I learned the importance of character, integrity and service.  I was able to serve our country as an Air Force A-10 fighter pilot in the first Gulf War.  I experienced fame as a member of the Dallas Cowboys during the Super Bowl run in the 1990s.  But all of these experiences pale in comparison to being a father.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I thank God that I have had the opportunity to be a dad to my kids, Chase and Brenna. I will be the first to admit that my parenting ability often came through trial and error and I made mistakes.  But in spite of it all, my kids have grown into caring, responsible and productive young adults.

Like all families, we have had our challenges; some greater than others.  The one ordeal, though, that defined our family was when Chase became extremely ill when he was two and a half years old with what was eventually diagnosed as an autoimmune illness.

Dancing through the pain - Cross Timbers Gazette | Southern Denton County |  Flower Mound | News

It came just weeks after we, as the Dallas Cowboys, won our third Super Bowl in four years. I was on one of the greatest highs of my life professionally. But my whole perspective began to change about what is important and what it truly means to be a dad. As we sought medical attention and answers, I experienced for the first time in my life the frustration of not being able to overcome an obstacle and fix the situation.  As a father, I felt helpless and hopeless.

What my kids wanted most from me was not all the material things that I was working to provide – they wanted me – my attention, my time and, most important of all, my love. I learned that this was the greatest gift I could give them.

3-time Super Bowl champ, AF pilot reflects on America's game > Air Force >  Article Display

In spite of the pain of the trial, I look back now and I can say I am thankful for the experience.  I realized that I am a fallible being and that I couldn’t do it all.  I had to rely upon God and others to walk through life. I learned humility.  I learned that what my kids wanted most from me was not all the material things that I was working to provide – they wanted me – my attention, my time and, most important of all, my love. I learned that this was the greatest gift I could give them.

This year, my youngest left for college and now they both are on to their next phase of their lives.  It has been an adjustment for our family.  But I am so thankful that my kids “got it.”

I am thankful that all the guidance, the discipline and the praise we gave them as parents has taken root in their lives and they “own” who they are.  They have a strong identity as to who they are as Christians, as Americans, and as young adults.  They have found that transformational moment in their lives where they are defining the “why” they do what they do.  And as a parent, that has been the greatest joy.

Related Posts

Mitch Trubisky and Wife Hillary Joyfully Announce the Birth of Their Baby Boy

And baby makes three for the Trubiskys. Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky and wife Hillary welcomed their first child earlier this week, son Hudson David Trubisky, the couple confirmed Thursday on Instagram. “Hudson David Trubisky,” Hillary captioned …

Read more

Bills Pro Bowl Tight End Announces His New Relationship in Heartfelt Instagram Post

Getty Bills tight end Dawson Knox celebrates at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023. The Buffalo Bills are firmly in vacation mode between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp, and tight end Dawson Knox is enjoying the offseason …

Read more

Revelando el intrincado tapiz: el arte del tatuaje de Riae como una fusión cautivadora de sexualidad e individualidad

No se puede pasar por alto el meticuloso detalle y la precisión del arte del tatuaje de Riae. Sus diseños no son simplemente patrones aleatorios grabados en piel, sino obras…

Read more

Revelando el aura encantadora de Mika Katana: la extraordinaria y seductora modelo tatuada del Reino Unido con un carisma incomparable y una belleza poco convencional

En el mundo del modelaje, donde la belleza suele ocupar un lugar central, Mika Katana emerge como una fuerza distintiva, cautivando al público con una seductora mezcla de carisma, seducción…

Read more

Liberando la creatividad personal: el innovador viaje de Keaton Belle como modelo y tatuador con un arte corporal increíblemente impactante

El viaje de Keaton Belle como modelo y tatuador muestra una combinación única de creatividad personal e innovación artística. Conocida por su sorprendente e impactante arte corporal, Keaton se ha…

Read more

Sumérgete en el arte corporal: explora los fascinantes tatuajes de Liza Vdovina y únete al inspirador viaje de la modelo rusa

Como modelo, los tatuajes de Vdovina desafían las normas tradicionales de la industria, donde la piel sin imperfecciones a menudo se considera el estándar. En cambio, su arte corporal se…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *