On Father’s Day I’ll celebrate my children.
I’m thankful for the man they’ve made me.
“Dad” is a label that I’ve grown into. It’s a title that I wear proudly although I might complain about it frequently.
In typical Good-Bad Dad fashion, the aspects of fatherhood that I tend to lament are those things that I really do love.
I’ll be the first to complain about the hurried way I rush my kids from one activity to another. I’m quick to say I’m exhausted by the relentless pursuit of my kids’ enrichment. As much as I complain, I do really love outcomes of the daily chase.
Whether it be seeing my little Messi score his first goal, my little Ginger Rogers twirl a perfect pirouette or my little Bill Gates hack into my computer, I’m thankful for the numerous moments of pride that my kids provide me.
As pleased as I am to see my kids’ succeed, my favorite pay-back is more subtle.
I treasure the big, bright smiles I get when my kids greet me after a long day.
The pay-back is the way my son brings me the same old, tattered book to read at bedtime.
It’s my sheepish grin as my son bashfully asks me not to “embarrass him” by cheering at the school assembly today.
I used to complain about the routine-filled life that my big family requires. I never wanted to give up on a nomad existence that put me in a new place every few years. Settling in, to me, was boring. I’m so thankful that my kids have me now firmly settled – and happily boring.
I’m okay crafting vacations around zoo’s and theme parks. I’ve come to look forward to a quite Friday night at home. When my son grabs a blanket to sit by me on a weekend night, I’m perfectly content. I no longer secretly miss the fast-life others might be enjoying.
Being a dad is not easy and I thank my children for making this journey difficult. I enjoy the tests I’m faced with daily – the scramble to be on time, the patience needed when the baby just won’t sleep and the courage I need to muster-up when my kids need support.
This complicated life makes me a better person.
On Father’s Day, I don’t need a card or fancy dinner out. All I need is to keep earning my title – to pride-fully embrace the man I’ll become while doing so.
The only present I want is to see my kids flash a smile my way, for them to listen as I read the same book tonight and to blush the next time I embarrass them in front of their friends.
In these moments, my “Dad” title is earned. During these times I’m the best version of me.
I may be boring, settled, hurried and broke – but I’m Dad.
Today I’ve earned that title and tomorrow I’ll try again.
I’ll make that effort, thanks to my kids.