"Always look ahead" was what my father always told me. Being the way I am, I always have held my elders words in high regard. Certain people may think of them as old fashioned or out of date but I know better. Dedication, sweat, blood, tears... all of that and more, have been poured down generation to generation. Each of us takes the important bits and melds them within our own way of life. "Fighting gets you no where" is one I've heard a million times. God knows I didn't listen to that one. Heavy handed, hard headed and stubborn is the way I was as a teen and seeing my children grow up in a better environment than I did has given me great reward. I always have prayed that they wouldn't suffer the hardship that I did as a kid. Jacob is an old soul, I have never really had to worry about him wandering off and getting his nose broken in a fight. Keeping Rachel under wraps proved torrid at times but she has turned out to be quite a wonderful young lady. Letting our children have freedom is a necessary but also a delicate thing. Making sure they are safe and well adjusted without being in their face constantly is difficult to say the least. Never should we hesitate for even one moment if we sense a red flag. Occasionally we will be wrong, they will become angry and it will turn into a war but more often than not, they DO appreciate us checking in on them as it shows them we are paying attention and that we do really care. Please take to heart that I do realize that there are many ways of child rearing and that my methods may not be exactly what your family needs. Quileute children have somewhat of an advantage as I see it. Rebecca, Rachel and Jacob have had a very enriched and traditional tribal upbringing. Strong family ties, tradition and a deep routed community have proved to be the most powerful tools in raising them. Tradition is one of the most important things to me and my family. Under the watchful eye of the entire tribe, I've seen my children thrive and become excited about who they are. Very confident children present themselves with eagerness and very little fear. With that said, I sit here smiling and reflecting, I am rewarded knowing that my wife and I have given them the greatest opportunities we can. Xylographs here on my desk from when they were all in 4th grade make me smile as my fingers run along the totems that represent their individuality. Yes I am a proud parent. Zero regrets.