My wife will tell me to “get over myself…it’s just another day, there is stuff to be done!”
I like to try and celebrate Father’s Day in the same way I celebrate my own birthday.
I feel like its one of the few days of the year when I get to be in the spotlight. Not that I like being the centre of attention (…much!) But would it be so bad to be celebrated for the role of father at least one day a year?
When my kids were a bit younger, they would help my wife prepare a “breakfast in bed”. It would consist of the easiest thing to make that wouldn’t burn or stain if spilled. They would bring it upstairs to the bedroom where I pretended to be asleep. They would jump on the bed complete with their homemade Father’s Day cards and a gift bag filled with some little goodie that my wonderful wife would pick up and allow them to take the credit for.
I would like to think that I am part of the new breed of father. “Old school” dads were the ones that were relegated to the role of breadwinner. They would leave for work at an ungodly hour and be home either just in time for dinner or just as dinner was finishing. Mom’s would take care of everything else related to us kids.
My dad was one of those dads. He was usually never around in the morning, leaving for work when it was still dark. He would usually be home for dinner but would have to do paperwork at home after we ate. I am sure it sucked for him but like many of us, he did what he had to do and still does it well. He is an amazing man and an amazing father and I am extremely grateful.
Modern dads (some, not all) are more involved in the day to day minutiae of raising kids. I can only speak from my own experience, but I get breakfast going in the morning, pack their lunch bags and provide either transportation or act as a walking mate to at least one of my kids everyday to school. These days, I am also home when they arrive and “crack the whip” to ensure that homework is successfully completed in a timely manner, sitting with my kids to help them where needed (which is a dead end since I don’t understand half of what they are learning). On the weekends, I take on the added role of chauffeur, taking them both around to friend’s house and picking them up.
I have no doubt that my dad missed participating in these kinds of activities. However mundane these tasks might be, they give me opportunities to connect with my children; to be with them. We talk about their day, I hear about their struggles, learn about their hopes and dreams.
As my children mature (they are now 14 and 11), the days of snuggling in bed reading stories are slowly fading. I desperately miss those days and am continually amazed at how fleeting they are. However, as the only male and only dad in the house, I have to find new ways to fit in…to be helpful and needed in their lives.
I know that I will always be there father and that they will always need me for one reason or another. But I miss the way I used to feel when they would be sad or cry from scraping their knee and I would be able to hold them in my arms; their tears soaking my t-shirt, wiping their little nose, throwing them a few funny faces or jokes to make them laugh and smile.
I love being a dad. I treasure each moment I have with my children and the time that we spend together as a family. I wouldn’t trade it for the fanciest of cars, biggest of houses or most expensive of toys. The warmth I feel and the love I receive from my children is priceless and means everything to me. Though we sometimes disagree and they don’t always do what I ask them to do (even after the fifth time I ask them), I love them all the same.
I might not be a financial success (yet). But I am a success at being their dad and I know they love me and appreciate me.
To all the dads reading this…screw the game of golf, beer with the boys and get off the computer. The work can wait. Stop what you are doing and go be with your kids. They are a part of you…they love you and only want to spend time with you. Celebrate Father’s Day by being their father.
Happy Fathers Day.