Have you ever observed a man and his child and felt the love oozing from their interaction? I have. It warms my heart like few things do in this world do.
When I think of the word ‘father’, I think of biology, adoption or even step-parents. That doesn’t mean that a father is a dad. Dad is a sacred a word as is mom. It comes from hard work and dedication to your children.
My niece’s uncle, he’s a dad. Recently, he was visiting for my niece’s graduation. He had his four children in tow. I watched him interact with his children and saw their happy, well-behaved faces as they lovingly listened to their father’s words. Save his teenager, they all vied to sit next to him at a restaurant or in an assembly. They basked in their moment of attention.
I’d never seen him parent before. The last time I saw him was at my sister’s wedding, well before any of the children had been born. Watching him parent his children made me examine my own relationship with my daughter. It was obvious that he had taught his children how to respect him and others. His children are a beautiful reflection of the life lessons he has given them. I didn’t see him raise his voice in anger, but of course, they did nothing to earn an angry parent voice. They all seemed peaceful and comfortable in their interactions.
I found myself wondering how he’d done it. How his experience as a single father was similar or different from my own? What his advice was for me as I have barely started my journey as a parent?
So today, I celebrate men like G. To all you dads out there working hard and loving your babies: I salute you because not every father will become a dad!