Live The Dash Jun17


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Live The Dash


A father of three . . . words I honestly never thought would be used to describe me.

So today is Fathers’ Day. For me, today is a day to reflect on fatherhood and all the joys and responsibility that come with that one word – “Dad”.

That one word has been used to express everything from happiness to “Help!” to frustration to anger to love. Funny how kids pick up on that – knowing how to say it so you know what they mean.

To be a parent is probably the hardest thing in this world to be – of having someone need, really need, you. The word need is used too often nowadays to mean ‘really want’ but children need to be fed and loved and comforted and hugged and kept safe and taught . . . A father needs to do all those things, and more, everyday. I guess it holds true that a man is not defined by what he has but by what he takes care of.

Children listen and learn from what their parents do (more than what they say) and we, the parents, are torn between our greatest wish for our children – to protect them from the world – and our greatest responsibility – to prepare them for it.

I look back at the years I had growing up and the times I took for granted one of the only true heroes I have ever had in my life – my own father. A man who I am blessed to still have in my life. I think of all the things he said and did and how I refer to his words which were backed up by his actions when I, myself, need guidance and advice.

I recall one day not too long ago when at a family get-together, my dad and I were talking about some forgettable everyday stuff, then out of the blue, he turned to me and simply said, “You’re a good father. I’m proud of you.”

I told him that I keep trying to be and that it is his example I follow. All the while the little boy inside of me was jumping up and down yelling “He’s proud of me”.

I know how important that is and, if anything, I strive to give my children that same feeling as often as possible.

And I have been blessed with a wonderful son who will be a better man than I will ever be. One of the many things I have learned from him is that it is better to be a faulty parent with a great child than to be a great parent with a flawed child. Our daughter, his two-year-old sister, is an inexplicable joy. Numerous times have I just sat and seen her do her thing around the house and realized an hour’s gone by – an hour that no one will ever be able to take from me. Her five-month-old brother has joined our family and we get ourselves ready to take the journey again. I have come to understand that it is not my children who are honored to have me for a father. The honor is mine to be called their father.

So today, to all fathers out there – and some mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, teachers, coaches, or friends who have the responsibility of filling that role for one reason or another – I say

“Happy Father’s Day”
Live the dash