Today is Fathers Day and I use this blog to honor two great fathers. Both have been in my life for more than fifty years. Neither is my father, but the way they father has shown me what a true father is.
The #1 Father in my life is the father of my three children. I honor, respect and truly love this man who was only an 18-year-old, high school dropout, when our first child was born.
Pregnant and 17-years old when we married, I believed and trusted him when he said, “I will do all I can to improve my life to give you and our child a better life.” He lived up to this commitment by:
- Enlisting in the Armed Forces to make sure there was income and health services for me and our unborn child;
- Earning a GED (High School Diploma) to open up better job opportunities after military service; and
- Returning to school, after working for five years in the private sector, to earn a Bachelors and Masters Degree at a Top Ten University;
He did these things to ensure our three children were financially secure and their lives were open to better opportunities. But, just as important, he was the hands-on father who:
- washed diapers,
- ironed school uniforms,
- hemmed skirts,
- sewed on buttons
- cooked meals,
- read stories,
- attended school conferences, concerts, recitals, games, …
- shared dreams,
- encouraged goals.
Our children are now middle-aged and have their own families, but they know Dad is there for them, today, as he has been throughout their lives.
The #2 Father in my life is our only son. A middle-child, the only boy, born on Halloween; I, jokingly, said for many years, “I am not sure if he is my trick or treat.” Today, I say without hesitation, “He is my treat,” and “I shout from the highest height that I am proud to call him my son.”
This Father Day, and everyday, I honor this man who is 53-years-old and the single-parent to my 6-year-old granddaughter. By the way, brag time, she graduated from Kindergarten this month:
Parenting is challenging even when there are two people sharing the responsibility. And, I had concerns whether my son could handle single-parenting. Especially, given he had lived most of his life as a bachelor.
I recall the saying, “He’s a chip of the old block” and, like his father he has stepped into the parenting role with ease and confidence.
Teachers, family, friends, professional colleagues, as well as his parents, comment on his hands-on fathering skills. How could we have expected anything else? After all, he has seen hands-on fathering, by his father, throughout his life.