I have never considered myself a great father. The fact that my kids grew up happy, healthy and only slightly outside of societal norms can be attributed to the lovely and talented Kathy more than myself. The best that I can say is that my dad, as good as he was, was flawed. I’m better in some ways than him, worse in others and flawed in different ways. I am praying that my son, if he becomes a father, learns from my mistakes and is a better father than I. If nothing else, I hope his flaws are different from mine.
I do, however, know some men that I consider to be great examples to those of us who are fathers. I won’t name names because my point is not to call anyone out or embarrass them. I tell you about them because they deserve to be celebrated.
- I know a man who spent a weekend in the hospital with his toddler son. He recovered and they are home now but I have great respect for this man because I know how busy he is and saw him drop everything and drop off-line till things were stable. I respect that. I want to believe I would do that, however, one of my biggest faults as a father is I have made decisions in the past that were good for my business and career at the expense of my family.
- I know a man who has an autistic child. He carries a full load at work and still finds the time to spend extra time with his child because that is what they need. From all outward appearances, his other children are happy and within societal accepted norms, so he doesn’t neglect the others for the sake of his special child. I respect this man because even though society pressures men to be successful at business, he doesn’t use that as an excuse to neglect his family. I would like to believe I could handle his situation as well as he is but I know deep inside my heart that there is no way I could.
- I know a man who has a step-child who is in therapy. This child is disturbed but the man loves the child enough to to make sure they get help. The child is not biologically the man’s child but that doesn’t matter, he treats them like they were his own. I respect this man for his patience. Those that know me know my patience can be measured in inches, this man’s patience is measured in miles. I don’t even pretend that I could step into his shoes and carry this burden. I am in awe of him that he does.
- I know a man who is currently working a job in a different city than his family. Every time I see him he is carrying a stuffed tiger. Everywhere he travels, he takes the tiger with him and takes a picture of the tiger – in a business meeting, with friends, or at a landmark of some kind- to send back to his child. The first time I saw him do that I thought “Damn, wish I had thought of that.” I respect this man because even though he knows that working this job will benefit his entire family, he goes the extra mile to stay connected to them. This is the kind of grand gesture that his child will remember their entire life.
Feel free to share your Father’s Day stories of the men you respect in the comments of this blog.
To all fathers everywhere, thank you. Make sure you take a moment to tell your kids you love them. Use this Father’s Day to celebrate your successes while they celebrate you.
Until next time,
I <3 |<