Today is supposed to be a day of appreciation. We’re meant to express gratitude towards our fathers for all that they have done. We have the same exact kind of holiday for mothers, so neither goes unnoticed, and neither receives unequal praise and thanks for what they have done. I know providing for your children is an amazing thing all in its own, but I believe there’s more to being a parent. When I think of why I love those that I love, it’s not for material possessions they have provided me. I appreciate the fact that I live comfortably, that there’s food on the table, that I live in a house fully equipped with all the amazing comforts I’m fortunate to have. Though I don’t love these things. I could be happy living in the smallest house, with just a comfy blanket and bed to lay on, and two amazing role models (parents) by my side. So honestly, if push came to shove and I had to cutback on how I live, it wouldn’t bother me. I live for relationships, experiences, and for the opportunity to explore and apprecatiate all of the nuances life has to offer, not for extravagant things or simply a big house.
Being a father is much more than the money you all bring home, I hope you know that. The post I recently wrote, titled “love” describes exactly what I believe being a father truly entails. Yes you can go to your 9-5 job or whatever job you have, but that job isn’t the one that earns the love from your child. It’s the job of being a father to your children that deserves and earns that love from that little human being. Being the leader, the protector, the gentle giant that they can look up to, the level headed arguer who would also never raises his voice at his little babies, who deals with matters rationally, who is not quick to temper, who facilitates a calm, loving, fear free home for his children to rest. That’s a father.
I think men have lost what it means to be a father. Some fathers get offended when mom is the first person their child thinks to call for when they get scared, sad, upset, or need advice. Though if you think about it, the moms have earned this priority. The children don’t instinctually reach out to their mom simply because she’s their mom and they simply believe moms are the first parent to go to. They go to her because she has spent the time to care for them since they were just a little baby. Moms have the luxury of staying at home typically, for a few months or years, and naturally get more time to bond with the child. Though there’s more to it. Many times, our mothers don’t get stern and cold when upset at us, they use a motherly-authoritative tone when dealing with us. They also ask the things that fathers never dare to. They ask you if you have crushes, and they are genuinely curious. Typically it’s not simply so they can monopolize your time so you’re not near the opposite sex. They have conversations with you. Real conversations. They know your likes and dislikes. When the dad goes away and it’s just the kids, or just the daughters, or just the sons home with mom, she makes it fun. The occasion calls for a movie night, with popcorn, or ice cream, or simply a good discussion of the movie after it’s finished.
Now I’m not saying all dads don’t do those things, or have that bond, but personally I’ve never experienced it.
If I were to say which parent understands me the best though, I’d have to say it’s my mom. Sure she has her moments of not-so-great-parenting, but she knows when she’s made a mistake, and she appalogizes. And the fact that she truly gets me makes up for all of those times.
Though I love my dad, I don’t share the same bond. I’d be heartbroken if he were gone, but I wouldn’t feel the same void that I would if it was my mom who was gone.
I have fond memory’s of him when I was younger, but even then it was still off. My dad knows what truly comprises me just as much as a stranger would. It’s saddening, but it’s true.
Today I really wish I could be more appreciative, write something more heartfelt in that darn card, but I can’t muster that kind of false praise. I could write the longest paragraph in that stupid thing, but it would all feel like lies. You have your good days, but your bad days diminish them. You don’t get me. You’d take that card to heart, possibly even cry because it “touched you so much” and maybe I’d cry too, because you don’t even know who I am. You don’t have the sense to realize I’ve never felt more disconnected. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll write a kickass card, and it will make you smile, make you feel loved, but it’s not real.