Father’s Day is fast approaching and there are so many things I think of when I think about the men in my life who hold, and have held that title. I also can’t help but think about the dads who far too often carry the silent burden in the face of baby loss or fertility problems. We strive to be incredibly conscious of the mamas, less so (it seems) of the dads. I think of the men who step in to make a difference in the life of a child, not his own. The uncles, coaches, friends, brothers, grandfathers…
Dads catch a lot of flak, don’t they? We seem to set the bar embarrassingly low. They are too often “celebrated” for doing what any good dad does on the daily. No, they are not babysitting their own children. Yes, they are capable of changing diapers/being on bath duty/reading the stories/helping with the homework/doing the school drop off or pick up. Newsflash: Dads are incredibly capable, they just might have a different approach than Mom.
To (some of) the Dads in my world
What can I say about some of the men in my life who wear the “Dad hat”? My Dad, well, we’ve always known he’s got our backs. He is a constant. He loves big, with his whole heart. Playing sports, you could count on both of my parents holding down their section of the bleachers, cheering like crazy. It’s the same with their eight grandkids (in ALL their various activities). He taught us the importance of hard work and dedication. He’s a gentleman. He’s a crazy good cook. He’s so many things, too many to list here.
My brother and brother-in-law…They are all of these things in their own right. (Okay, so maybe we’re still waiting for my brother’s chef skills to pop…). It’s something special to see their relationships with their kids. They are present and dedicated, funny yet firm. They (along with my sister and sister-in-law) are clearly doing something right with these seven outstanding human beings.
My husband? As we went through the somewhat scary labor and delivery of our girl, it was heart-achingly beautiful to watch him become Dad. He was my rock. He was calm, solid, and constant. And that’s how he has remained. He works hard for his girls, yet I know he makes deliberate choices so he can be more present in our lives than his job might otherwise allow. He is wrapped around her little finger. He is a show-er of his love, through projects and creations, and showing he heard us as we share our hopes and dreams and wishes.
We see you
To the dads who are carrying that silent burden of baby loss and/or fertility challenges, we see you. We know you’re hurting too. You aren’t alone.
Men making a difference
And then, to the men who aren’t “dad,” but step in nonetheless. The power of the male influence is something not to be disregarded. Your time, your presence, your example…It’s invaluable.
Yes, dads and moms bring different things to the parenting table, but that doesn’t make either less or more valuable. Ideally, they bring a perfectly imperfect balance to their children’s world. Don’t underestimate the power of your role, dads. Happy Father’s Day, enjoy your day!!