Tomorrow is Father’s Day and millions of dads will be honored by their children. I will hopefully be one of those receiving at least a few accolades. Before you think me boastful, my daughters will also remind me of my nerdyness and my insufferable habit of telling corny jokes. But, that is in part what dads do. It is expected of them. I for one, am committed to not letting them down.
But let’s look at the true picture. Fathers become fathers via the birth of their children, but not all fathers become dads. A father becomes a dad the day he takes responsibility for the child he now must rear. A dad is the man who weeps with his child when he or she is in pain. A dad is the man, who stands strong when his child needs support. He is their defender and champion. A dad is the person who tells their mother not to worry because their daughter is strong enough to care for herself but secretly worries each time she goes out. He is the protector, the fixer and the knight in shining armor. A dad knows his children are watching him even if he thinks they aren’t looking. In short, he tries to be perfect even though he knows that at times he will stumble.
A father is the easy job. He doesn’t need to be patient. He doesn’t need to be perfect. He just earns the title by a simple act. But a dad is a dad by virtue of all the hard stuff. All the sleepless nights worrying about his daughter on her first, second, third and every date she ever goes on. He teaches his son respect and the meaning of the word no. A dad holds onto their bike and promises not to let go as they learn to ride, and then turns over the keys to his child as a new driver and forgives the moment they scratch the car. A dad must anticipate their needs, react with support and be there every step of the way. A dad celebrates his children’s success and then humbly credits them with their effort. He will wish to be center stage, all the while knowing the stage belongs to his child.
Tomorrow, if he is still alive, hug your dad. Tell him you noticed each time he was there. Thank him for caring, for sharing and for above all, his undying admiration of you. Forgive him his imperfections and honor him for his efforts. And above all, tell him he matters and then show him he is loved.
Happy Dad’s Day…..job well done.