Celebrating the Fathers in Our Lives
The other day, my daughter and I were reading a Peanuts book that we had picked up from the library. When I got to this page where Lucy and Charlie Brown are talking about Father’s Day, I couldn’t help but laugh:
Credit: Charles Schulz
As moms, we work hard to care for, nurture, and love our children. We fill so many roles for them. Many of the things we do daily go unnoticed… unseen… forgotten. In every moment and phase of motherhood, I’ve developed a profound and deepened appreciation for my own mother.
But when we start listing off all the things we aren’t being recognized for, do we ever stop and think about what our husbands are doing for us that go unnoticed? Do we recognize the things our fathers did and continue to do for us? Sometimes we fail to see all the incredible things the fathers in our lives do each day--the lessons they teach us, how extremely proud they are of even the smallest things we do, the way they tirelessly work to provide...the list could go on and on. So whether you are a father in the traditional sense of the word, or if you are a father-figure in any way, you deserve to be celebrated this Father’s Day.
Parenthood is all about building personal relationships with our children. Because of this, I wanted to make this post personal. I wanted to include real responses from real people, so I reached out to close friends and family. The responses I received were overwhelming. I was reminded of the deep and beautiful influence that the men in our lives have, not just to their own children, but to everyone they come in contact with on a daily basis.
So to all fathers, thank you...
for being an example of love, charity, and selflessness; for giving of your time to your children, spouses, and your community.
“My dad has the ability to recognize individual needs. When we are in a group, I always find him reaching out to one who may feel uncomfortable, out of place, or just like they need a friend.”
“I feel like he is the most charitable man I know and is always serving and giving to others. He is not judgmental of anyone.”
“My dad is always going where help is needed! No questions asked.”
"He is incredibly kind to complete strangers. More times than I can count, he'd pull over to help someone on the side of the road. We'd work together changing their tire, or assisting them anyway we could. He is incredibly generous, both to those he doesn't know and to his own children."
for showing me that it’s ok to be the odd-one-out, and to always unapologetically be myself.
“Something I admire about my dad is that he is totally himself and confident. He doesn’t care what other people think! If he wants to strike up a conversation with a random person in a grocery store, he will!”
for spending time with me, for making me laugh by throwing me into the air, and for carrying me high on your shoulders so I could enjoy the scenery.
"My dad always made it a priority to spend time with us, whether it was playing games together, taking us camping, going to sporting events, taking us out for ice cream, or working on projects together."
for being proud of me, for encouraging me to be my best, and celebrating every little success.
“He loves to rejoice in the success of others. He loves to make a big deal of even the smallest success.”
“He has always been the most proud person in the room. Whether it was a good grade on a simple assignment, or learning to fill the gas tank by myself for the first time.”
for teaching me to stand up for what I believe in and to hold strong to my values.
“My dad takes the time to talk and teach important lessons. I remember him pulling me aside and teaching me to be careful who my friends were and who I was around…If my friends were making bad choices, that even if I wasn't doing anything, but the police showed up, that I’d still get in trouble.”
“One attribute my father had was that of honesty. He instilled in each of us to be honest in our lives in every situation, even when it’s hard.”
for showing me what it means to be dedicated, to commit to something 100%, and to be the hardest working person in the room.
“I feel like I definitely learned the importance of hard work from my dad. He would always fulfill every commitment he had made.”
“When I think of my dad, the first that comes to mind is his work ethic. He was a hard worker his whole life. He worked on his family farm starting at a young age. He worked hard to put himself through college by doing janitorial work at nights to pay his way. All throughout my life, I remember him working long hours. He was so devoted to his job and his family.”
"He would do anything for his family. Even when we didn't know it or didn't understand, he was always all in for us kids and giving us the life he felt was best for us."
“My dad showed me what it meant to be committed. He spent long, hot days on the farm, his hands cracked, his body broken, but he still shows up and gets the job done. My jobs haven’t been physically demanding like his, but every time I accept a new position I think about dad and how he would feel if I didn’t give it 100%. I feel this obligation to put my heart into what I do because that’s what he did for us.”
for comforting me during hard times, for loving me when I made mistakes, and encouraging me to get back up again.
“I remember breaking down one semester in college because I had not filled out the correct paperwork for a scholarship and that I would not be getting the money for the second part of the school year. My dad just hugged me, and let me know it was going to be okay. He let me know he would help out. He made me work, but always had my back when I needed it.”
for always trying to be the best dad you can be, even when you make your own mistakes.
"Sometimes I don't think he gives himself enough credit. Through everything, I've never once questioned that he loves me."
To my own father:
Thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to have fun, and to not take life too seriously. You reminded me not to stress and worry about the small things.
Thank you for showing me the importance and value of individuals. Your ability to remember people and the details of their lives is incredible. Whether you are talking with old friends, or making new ones, you’re able to make people feel like they’re not alone.
Thank you for showing me what it means to work hard and to sacrifice everything for your family.
Thank you for showing your love for me in how much you love your grandchildren. Although you’re busy, you never fail to give them your time, whether it’s holding them on your lap while you work, taking a break to play with them despite your long to-do list, or taking them out to ice cream one too many times in a week.
Thank you for loving me. At times, you may not have felt like you were doing enough, or being the kind of dad you wanted to be, but I hope you know that you were the perfect dad for me.
To all fathers, grandpas, uncles, brothers, and to all men that love and teach our children, thank you! One of my dear friends put it best: “I’m so grateful for all my father has sacrificed for me.”