Sunday, June 15, 2014
The Fathers in My Life
This is my dad. He's 91 and one of the most amazing men I've ever known. From the time my sister and I were kids, to now, that we are both grown, married, and with our own children, our dad has supported us, nurtured us, and encouraged us in all aspects of our lives.
While not formally educated past High School, my father is well read, wise, and witty. And though he would probably not look at it this way, a staunch feminist. The father of two girls, he insisted we could be anything we wanted to be and were willing to work hard enough at. And he believed strongly, that we needed to be independent and self-sufficient to be strong partners in any relationship.
I am fortunate, indeed, to still have this incredible person in my life.
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I wish I could be celebrating with you.
This is my husband. He and I have been best friends for 32 years, married for 25. While I could tell you all the wonderful things he is to me, this is Father's Day, so I'll talk about what a great dad he is to our sons.
First and foremost, he considers himself to be a primary parent. In his mind, there was no abdication of his responsibilities to the kids because of his gender or his work hours. If diapers needed to be changed, he changed them. If cuddles were required, he provided them. Discipline? Sure. And he never, never, ever let the kids pit one of us against the other, nor did we provide other than a unified front to the kids. Did we ever disagree about parenting issues? Sure. But we talked them out, in private, until we came to agreement.
Second, he provided our sons with an amazing role model on how to be an active, loving, respectful, engaged partner. There was never any separation of work in our home. If it needed to be done, it was done by whoever could do it at the time. He does laundry, cooks, cleans, all with no fuss. The message that sends is everyone in the household contributes and does what needs to be done.
By respecting me and my opinions, thoughts, preferences, he sent a message to our boys that everyone has a right to be heard and honored. While we spend a lot of time laughing, it has always been mutual and respectful. Never mocking or hurtful.
I can't imagine a better father.
I suspect this Father's Day is a little bittersweet for him - our children are grown - the youngest just turned 18 and will be heading for college in a few months. The days of our active, intense parenting are coming to a close. But I know he will always have a tight bond with the boys, forged over the years of his love and devotion.
Happy Father's Day, my love!