Since I'm not a Dad, I can't claim to know exactly what it's like to be one. I'm sure like being a Mom it comes with very deep emotions and attachments. Some that I can not possibly even begin to understand.
But because I have a father, I'm married to the father of my children, and I have a brother and friends who are fathers, I'm going to use my little space in blog land to try to honor fatherhood.
Michael and I are very fortunate to have three wonderful sons. All unique in their own way. For the most part they stay out of trouble, are respectful, are good students, good athletes, and have good hearts. I am the nurturer, the one they can come to with their emotions, the one who has taught them to be compassionate, but their father is the one who has molded them into the respectful young people they have become.
It's as simple as looking someone in the eye when they are speaking to them, learning how to shake hands with a firm grip, and thanking a referee or coach each and every time they leave the field. He teaches not only with words but by example. He has shown them how to work hard, how to play hard and how to overcome adversity. He shows them everyday the importance of a good education and a hard day's work.
He has shown them that it's okay for men to be afraid, to cry when they are hurt or sad and he has taught them that it's okay to tell someone "I love you."
I am not a father, but I am a daughter. I did not grow up in my father's home, but he was present in our lives. He showed up to spend time with my brother and me. My best memories are the ones walking in the woods with my dad. Because of my dad I know what princess pine looks like and more importantly what poison ivy looks like! I know if I were ever lost in the woods that I could eat tea berries to survive and I know that bittersweet makes a really pretty decoration in the fall. I know that indians used to use the white bark of birch trees to write on and I know how to put a worm on a hook. ( I never really got the hang of taking the fish off the hook though!)
He was the parent I would go to when I knew my mom wouldn't understand, or be really really angry. Like when I was 17 and got my car stuck in the mud while "behaving inappropriately". How the mud got INSIDE my car I'll never know, but he was there to not only help me clean it, but was able to laugh about it too. Although, I'm not really sure he knew what I was really doing that night.
When I think about my dad, I think about how proud he is of his grandchildren, I think about his love of nature, his love of the ocean and how much he loves Christmas, but mostly how much he loves my brother and me.
One of the best dads I know is my brother and those who are my friends. They are there on the soccer fields, at baseball games, at graduations, at recitals, cheerleading competitions and school events. I see their eyes light up when they talk about their kids. Whether they have one son, two daughters, one of each or even triplets, the love those dads, have for their children is unconditional.
So, no I do not know how it feels to be a father, but I do know as a daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend I couldn't have chosen better men then the ones I have in my life and the lives of my boys.
Happy Father's Day!