Father’s Day is a special day that marks fatherhood to honor and venerate our fathers. We all know that being a parent does not come with an instruction manual. Fathers have a very special role to play in the development of children, we are not to be reduced to merely sperm donors.
I did not truly appreciate the role my father played in my life until I was grown and serving in the military. A fellow sailor spoke about the role his step father played in shaping his life and how his father was reduced to “sperm donor” status. I always just assumed that everyone had a father in their house. Being raised in a dual parent household I was sheltered from the harsher realities of life. Not until that particular conversation did I truly realize the role that my dad played in shaping my life, in raising his kids. He made sure we had food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. He sacrificed for the greater good of the family. I particularly remember the times he went out, in the worst weather, to provide for us.
Fathers have a very intricate role to play in the lives of all offspring. Fathers are that bad guy when discipline is needed, they are that rock when tenderness is desired and they are the defenders of kids everywhere. They sacrifice Saturdays to teach us how to play sports and encourage us to be better than they were. They protect us from demons, real and imagined and stand watch over us like guardians.
There are a lot of things I wish I could say to the man that I call father, to the man that was my dad. We never had a falling out or an argument or even bad words between us. I just took for granted that he would always be there, so words that should have been spoken between us went unsaid.
I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started. As a single father raising my kids, I look back and draw strength on the solace that was provided to me. I know that I am doing my best in all things a father should because that is what my father did for me. On today, fathers day, I dedicate all that I am and all that I shall be to the man I call father, my dad.
“It is a wise father who knows his child. But maybe it’s a very wise child who takes time to know his father.”