What does it mean to be a Dad? There is a well known saying that goes “Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” So what does it really mean to be a dad? For me, it means unconditional love, sharing and caring. As a Dad, you have the opportunity to teach your children to be good citizens. Citizens both of the earth and of society. Nurture them well and they will repay that for generations to come.
Dads check under the bed for monsters. They clean skinned knees and fix broken bikes. Dads teach you to stand up for yourself, but never be the bully. Dads take video of your first school play and your college graduation with equal enthusiasm. Dads interrogate your latest boyfriend as if he were taking you to Paris for a week instead of the Junior Prom. Dads teach you to throw a curve ball that would rival Babe Ruth. And Dads help you learn what to do with that first paycheck and the ones that follow.
Being a Dad means being proud, strong, endlessly creative, able to fix anything and make sense of the most confusing instructions. It means giving up the last slice of pie so the kids can share it. It means finding your favorite T-shirt on the dog when you get home from work. It means never having your tools put back where they belong. It means always being the one to take out the trash and change the light bulbs in the attic. And it means sticky kisses and spontaneous hugs. Babies sleeping in your arms and waiting up for teenagers late at night.
My Dad passed away many years ago when I was very young. My memories of him are a bit fuzzy after all these years, although I still smile when I think of him. He taught me so much in those short years. Ideas that have stayed with me, reminded me of him, and habits I have passed down to my own kids and grandkids.
My Dad taught me to face life with a sense of humor. He taught me the value of hard work and why it’s important to be honest. He taught me that working with your hands is something to be admired not ridiculed. That life is to be enjoyed and cherished. That love should be all in. That beauty is all around us and in everything we do. My Dad taught me to be adventurous, outgoing, and friendly, and in doing so you make friends and enjoy life.
So what does it mean to you to be a Dad on Father’s Day?