My dad passed away when I was two years old. He had Leukemia, and for most on my life I never felt the affects on his absence. I have written in the past about how his death triggers a lot of anxiety within me about having my own life end abruptly, and leaving my children without a mother. The truth is, however, that for much of my childhood I didn’t feel his loss. He never occupied many of my memories, he felt like a favorite story book character.
However, Father’s day was always hard. At church, there was always a special service to honor fathers. Every kid made special crafts and projects for their dads, and I would politely decline the opportunity. I cry at every daddy & daughter dance at a wedding I see. I get sappy when I see my friends share their daughters’ special dates with their fathers. I didn’t have a father who walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. There was no one to play catch with me, take me fishing, or let me eat junk food and whisper “don’t tell mom.” I missed out on all the stereotypical things I believed dads did.
Sooo.. yeah.. I’m jealous of my kids.
I’m jealous and proud.
They have a father, my husband, who is loving, firm, brilliant, resourceful, and hilarious. I’m jealous of their futures, and all the fun they will have as they get older. I imagine campouts, sports, and engineering. They have someone who will Shepard them into adulthood with a firm hand. My husband had an incredible example of what a dad should be with his own father. My father in law has filled a paternal gap, I never noticed was even there. My husband exemplifies what it means to be a man, making each decision for the joy and security of his own family. My boys are gaining such valuable lessons with him for a dad, someday they’ll share the workload with their baby mamas. Like my husband, they’ll encourage her to do whatever she wants. They’ll wipe butts, get less sleep, spend more money than they intended to. They’ll have strong work ethics, good manners, and grateful hearts.
I’m so thankful for a reason to celebrate Father’s Day the last four years. I know he thinks it’s cheesy, but I enjoy having this special day to honor all that he makes possible for our family. It’s cliche, but he is truly the rock we stand on. He pushes us to be better, while giving us the grace to make mistakes. He’s smart, strong, and obscenely attractive. He can build a top notch Lego tower, and he’s the best dish washer I’ve ever met. Happy Father’s Day!
This year I urge you to reach out to your friends who have lost their own fathers. To death or toxic, hurtful relationships. And as always, I encourage you to reject the stereotype that dads are idiots. Dads are rad.