Growing up with a father who barely showed up to anything, who shrugged unenthused about any accomplishments I’d come home excited to share, who barely ever spoke any words to me, who never so much as even hugged me as a child or uttered the words ‘I love you” or kiss me goodnight - I have struggled with this wound for years but as an adult now - a mother to two young children myself- it has made me realize the important role a father plays in a childs life.
It made me realize what I wanted as a mother - for my own children.
To all fathers, grandfathers and father figures in the lives of anyone—your role is significant as you strive to set an example and work hard for those who depend on you.
In those moments when I see my husband happy playing with our children I think about how incredibly fortunate our little girls are . . . His love as a father shows through in every interaction with our children. I've watched him and I can see that he loves those children more than he could ever show them. He gives our girls someone to admire, respect, and honor. He is so full of compassion, love, and strength. When we need a strong hand of support in our family, he is always , I mean always there.
And now, in the everyday minutiae of life, in the laundry folding and the never ending piles of dishes and the bedtime stories, it’s easy to forget that shock of love.
But when I really stop and think about it . . .
When I pause and listen to the sound of our children giggling as he roars like a dinosaur and chases them around the house before bedtime …
When I stop and watch him reading bedtime stories to our youngest (in his mono-tone voice we make fun of him for) while gently pulling back the hair out of her eyes so she can see the pictures…
When I see him helping our oldest with homework that she’s ready to chuck across the room in tears and give up on and he calms her with his patient teaching heart. . .
When I see him squat down to toddler eye level to listen to what our kid has to say. . .
When I watch him enter a room full of mothers at a birthday party where he’s the only dad . . .
When I see the disappointed look on his face to have to miss our daughters school performance because of work . . .
When I ask him to take the kids to the grocery store without complaint and he does . . .
When I see him brush our little girls tangled hair more gently than mommy does despite his big uncoordinated hands. . .
When I watch him potty train our toddler in 2 days after I tried tirelessly for weeks . . .
When I watch him continuously encourage our girls to try new things and have an open heart but promise them he wont ever make them stay in a sport they don’t love . . .
When I watch him swim with the kids and toss them around in the water until his arms are sore . . .
When I watch him teach our girls valuable lessons of life and share wisdom from his own learning’s growing up . . .
I realize that the shock is still there. The shock that this amazing man is the father to our girls, making an impact on our hearts everyday. The shock . It’s easy to forget that shock of love in the sometimes-mundane everyday life. The good kind of shock. The one that reminds you just how incredibly blessed you are, the one that makes you pinch yourself asking “is this real life?” “Do we really get to keep this man forever?” Silly I know. But sometimes I think we just need that wave of shock to spark that fire of gratitude in us . I may not have had the best father myself growing up, but my kids sure do have the best dad in the world and that’s all I could ever ask for.
Thank you for being the example, the role model, the one our girls will forever look up to. Even more, I hope this Father’s Day you realize just how loved you really are.