Thanks dad, for teaching me how to ‘dad’
In Tim’s last post, he gave some helpful (and hilarious!) advice for new dads. This time around he’s taking all the lessons he’s learned from his dad and thanking him for all he’s done to prepare him for fatherhood. Happy Father’s Day to all our papas out there!
Read more: Seven Tips for New Dads from a New Dad
I’m definitely a “list” kind of guy, especially when it comes to the need to articulate what’s on my mind. Perhaps it’s from a framework of objectivity that a lot of men have, that just creates this need to ensure that our points are made and (kind of) clear. Admittedly, this is potentially a little insensitive. With that said, I’m going to be “list-y” in this post, for a great reason.
My dad. Every year for Father’s Day, the routine tends to be typical. A card, a phone call, a round of golf, and probably a round of beers too. I was, and am, thankful for my dad, but after becoming a father, the appreciation for him has grown that much deeper. However, living across the world from him now, the conventional methods of showing appreciation just don’t seem to cut it.
When I think of my dad, I think of all the different challenges he might have faced when raising my sisters and I. I definitely feel like the pressures to raise my child are huge! Will she be happy? What would she want to do with her life? Here are some of my hopes for how I want Taylor to turn out:
- Being kind
- To care and love others more than they love themselves
- To be able to protect and stand up for herself
- To have integrity so that that’s what she’s known for
- That her dad is her number one man (obviously!)
- … the list can go on and on.
My dad had hopes for me too. I’m not perfect, but I think that I turned out alright. Human injustices bother me, I desire to see others succeed, I try to take care of others before I take care of myself, and I genuinely want world peace. By no means did I by fluke develop these beliefs, but I know that these things were definitely taught and instilled in me by my father (and mother!).
So back to lists! I want to thank my father for instilling in me these hopes and beliefs:
- Showing Mercy: I still remember that time I stole two dollars from your coin dish, where you literally watched me do it, gave me a simple look, and talked to me about it. No yelling, no telling me about how “bad” I was, even being caught red-handed. You were empathetic, articulate about your disappointment, and helped me understand why. Needless to say, I didn’t do it again.
- Being Active in Forgiveness: Whether it be the way that I often spoke to you ungratefully, or if it was the ways that I may have been inconsiderate to the way you felt, you always ensured adequate demonstration of treating each incident as its own. Never did I feel you stored up examples to hold against me which really helped me build my character.
- Steadfast: You were so good at making me feel at ease. If you were there, everything was alright, and you had things under control. You were reassuring and positive, helping me to develop my resilience.
- Provided in abundance: You’ve worked tirelessly just to see me succeed. Even when you couldn’t afford it, you gave me everything and more. This gave me so much motivation to move forward in hardships, understanding persistence and perseverance.
- Disciplined: Both in teaching me how to develop discipline by leading in example (the numerous salsa classes you went with mom and subsequently got really good, although it still makes me puke a little to think of how hard you can swivel your hips), and dishing out the discipline to ensure I understood the consequences of my actions. Whether they were negative or positive (the swivelling hips are definitely a negative) you taught me so much about self-control and constraint.
I guess all I can say is… Thank you. Thank you, dad for making me aware of the people around me, reminding me not to complain about what I don’t have and to focus instead on how much more I can give to those around me. Thank you, dad for forgiving the many, many grievances I have caused you, teaching me about a love that is unconditional. I hope I can father my child to be half the person that you are.
Happy Father’s Day, dad!
Happy Father’s Day to all the papas out there. You’re invaluable, we love and appreciate you!