Lesson Learned: Being a dad.

Yesterday was Father’s day. I hope all the dads out there had a wonderful day. You are special.

I think about the dads who can’t wait to spend time with their kids. The dads who stay home during the day and raise their kids while the moms work. The dads who would like to be home but serve our country. The dads who do their best in unfortunate circumstances. Kudos to you. Dads are important in a child’s eyes. Dads teach kids how to relate with others. They are the rock that can form generations to come.

Unfortunately, not all dads fit into the above categories. How sad that some choose not to participate. My son and daughter have a dad who went that route. Fortunately, my kids have a step-father who was always there for them when needed. I include all you step-dads with this message.

I think of my dad. He wasn’t perfect by a long shot. My mom raised us while he worked six days a week. When he was there, we avoided him. We jumped when he told us to do something. We feared his anger and the razor strap. (To this day, no one in my family has confessed to how that strap mysteriously disappeared!) Nor did my dad display affection. I don’t think he knew how to handle us young kids. Maybe it was his upbringing – having survived the depression, WWII, and eleven siblings. No matter, he was there for me and he tried. Always.

As we grew older, he mellowed. We saw a different side to my dad. We had fun with him. We partied with him. He let us be adults, without interfering in our lives. Only once did he give me strong advise. One sentence. “You’re making a big mistake.” I didn’t need anything else. I changed direction. He was there for me. And, he was right.

My point, nobody is perfect at being a dad, no matter the generation. No matter the stage you’re in at being a father. But if you’re there for you kid(s), you’re giving them a great start to life. You do the best you can. You learn, grow, and love with all your heart.

For all the dads who are there for your kids, thank you. And I thank my dad for always being there for me. He did the best that he could and I love him for that.

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