A collection of thoughts from me on this Father’s Day 2016
For all the times your kids severely tested your patience making you repeatedly mutter under your breath “oh Lord give me strength today” only to have it go away in three seconds when your child smiles at you and says “I love you”
For the times you’ve inadvertently AND intentionally (yes… Intentionally) taken punches, knees, elbows, and head butts to the “action area” on an almost daily basis, but you know the playtime show MUST GO ON!
For all the times when your child was a newborn and you just wished he or she would go to sleep, only to be concerned seeing them asleep and so still that you poked them to make sure they were still breathing knowing you were risking waking them up and making them cry but hey you knew it was well worth the risk.
For all the times you realize even if your child is six you still occasionally go into their room while they are fast asleep and make sure they’re okay, and then realizing this practice will never stop (literally or figuratively) even after they too become parents.
For all the times you tried to make your child laugh and finally got a formula working of some weird contortionist animated energetic “silly dance” that has you out of breath but at least got your kid laughing …only to have them yell out “AGAIN!!!” and you oblige. For another half hour. Until you’re about to faint on the floor from exhaustion. But you know the playtime show MUST GO ON!
For all the times you thought you’d lose weight and get in better shape from the “Dad Workout” of animated playtime shows, chasing them around everywhere, picking them up all the time (“DADDY! MY TURN! UPPIES!!!”) only to realize your plans of getting fit on the “Dad Workout” are nullified by the “Dad Diet” of being the family meal garbage disposal, like when your son asks for a waffle, a bagle, and a bowl of cereal for breakfast (“I want them all!”) and subsequently takes only a bite of each before declaring “DONE!” and running off to play leaving you with all his food and of course you can’t let the food go to waste.
For all the times you realized per the previous points that gaining a bit of a pouch from the “Dad Diet” is not actually a bad idea as it makes it much easier to pick up and hold your kids (“NO DADDY! MY TURN! UPPIES!!”) because that “Dad Diet Pouch” gives you somethign to rest the kids on when you’re holding them, because let’s face it biology didn’t give Dads the proper hips to rest our held kids on and so evolutionary came calling and guided us dads to develop the stomachs to hold our kids on. That’s right, taking one for the team!! *BURP*
For all those times when you realized it’s not the job of a mom to take care of the kids, it’s the job of a mom AND dad, and as part of a new generation of dads you do your best to do your part
For those times especially when you see mom needs a break so you do your best to take the kids and watch them for an hour, a few hours, half a day, **whatever it takes**, just so mom can have a break from being “mom”
For all those times when you’re out and about with the kids without mom (to give mom a break) and get a comment from someone like “Wow! Super Dad!” and momentarily beam at it only to be brought down to earth with the realization that Mom does this the other 6 days of the week and then making sure to accept the well intended compliment from the nice person while also making sure to remember to give your wife an extra hug and massage later
For all those times you know taking care of the kids is job for both the mom and dad and yet there are days you struggle mightily for whatever reason and mom sees it and somehow muscles up the strength just a little bit more to maybe let you sleep in a tiny bit or let you sit on the couch for a few moments just so you can decompress and fill up your gas tank a little and you undoubtedly recognize that mom is doing this for you dad and you are extremely grateful
For realizing that the world is changing and that dads from yesterday are different than dads of today and doing your best to reconcile what you grew up with what you are trying to do today
For realizing that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and hoping your kids will still turn out alright anyway, and that the one thing you can for certainty give them is lots and lots of love and hope and have faith that even with all your mistakes your deposits of love will build that trust in you from your kids for now and for the future
Being a dad has been a tremendous experience for me, and it is often a source of conflict internally when I think about how I was raised and then try to parlay that into how I attempt to raise my family. And then I realize I don’t have all the answers, and I feel like I’m making so many mistakes, and then maybe thinking maybe my dad didn’t have all the answers either. I like these types of holidays (birthday, wedding anniverary, Father’s Day, etc) because it gives me an excuse to step back a moment. This year, I reaffirm to myself that the idea of what a “dad” is is ever evolving, and that I must evolve with it. And while this may make things even more complicated when it comes to the moving target that is daddyhood, at times it sometimes also seems simpler as long as I continue to remember and realize it’s just as much about me the “Dad” raising my family as it is about my family raising me, The Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all my brethren Dads. You are a tremendous group of folks.
Thanks to my wife Sheri who continues to support me in my role and pursuit of DaddyHood