Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day 2016

Late night contemplations. It is 4:14 am. As I lie in bed with my daughter, listening to her deep, sleepy breaths while running my fingers through her curly hair, I wonder... what makes a dad? I mean, I know what makes a woman a "mother" - carrying a baby to term and delivering said baby. But does that make her a mom? Does that make her do the job of raising a child? Does it make her do that job well? I had a child, so I am mother, but do I embody the idea of being an active, fully participating/functioning mom? Likewise, what makes a dad? Some people in my family have a saying... anyone can be a father, but not everyone can be a daddy. Being a father seems to be merely biological, while being a daddy-- that is where the work is.

A daddy takes care of his family; wakes up in the middle of the night to tend to a sick kid; breaks his back to make sure his family doesn't go without. A daddy works multiple jobs (if necessary), is a cheerleader in all aspects of life-- on the field and in the classroom. A daddy always wants to see his children have better than he did. Selfless. Hard working. Sensitive (even if it is secretly). A daddy is not faultless. He battles with his demons daily so they don't interfere with his ability to care for his family. He swallows his pride almost daily. And that is not an easy pill to swallow. It is like eating two thick ass peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread and then realizing that you don't have anything to drink. But he does it.

A daddy cries when his kids are hurt-- hurt by a bully, a love or by a fall. His heart breaks when his child can't be understood. He would take the pain for his kid, if he could. He teaches lessons that he had to learn the hard way. He takes the memories of all the times he felt lonely or unloved, and tries to make sure that his child never feels that pain. He is there to softly soothe the heartbroken, comfort the crying, discipline the naughty. He is everywhere without being (terribly) overbearing. He gives his all. He gives his all-- over and over and over again. His sons use him as a measuring stick to determine how to be men. His daughters use him as a gauge to determine what kind of treatment they should be looking for. He demands respect... and he has more than earned it.

I know the qualifications... because I have seen them met first hand. There have been times- many times- when I wished I had a dad that would lay off, not be so demanding or at least not demand my best, 100 per cent of the time. But where would I be if he was lax about his expectations? Truly, I would not be the person that I am today without my dad. I may be a heathen, y'all, but I thank God EVERY day for my parents. I thank God that he gave me a dad that showed me that I never had to settle to be in a relationship; that I am in charge of my own life. I am thankful that I have a dad who respects my mom. A dad who taught me that loyalty to family is the most important thing someone could possess, a dad that brags about me when I am not around... but never lets my head get too big. I'd be lost without him. He is an answer to all prayers for a caring dad. I am glad that my daughter has hubs and Pops to look to for an example of good men. I am glad that my siblings know that when everyone else is against them, mom and dad will always be there. Thanks for everything you do, Poppa Hot, Black and Bitter. We all appreciate you more than you will ever know. Love and hugs!!


Unknown said...

Nice....if only everyone could know that kind of love from their dad

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