Today is my 24th Father’s Day as the Father. I am so thankful that I have been blessed with Brett and Allie. They have brought me incredible joy in their lives, taught me many lessons, and helped me develop into a better person.
Children do this for all parents if we will let them. Children teach us unconditional love, they help us to develop patience, and they act as a mirror for us in many cases. They don’t come with an instruction book. I remember hearing people tell me how amazing it would be to have children…how the feeling of love will be unlike anything I’d ever known….I remember thinking “yeah yeah yeah” and then of course, when they came into the world…I immediately knew what they meant.
I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a Father. I think everyone does. Whenever I would get upset with a decision they made I would try to think back to how I was at their age and it always helped me to be less angry and more understanding. I probably erred too often on the side of being easy on them….whichever way you go, there will be pros and cons anyway. There is no perfect way.
I only ever want whats best for them, but I also want them to be true to themselves and their dreams. I believe in encouraging children to pursue whats in their heart. I know some parents don’t think this is practical. I respectfully disagree. I want my children to be happy. I know that regret and happiness don’t often occupy the same space and I have seen too many people give up too soon on their childhood dreams, because they were pressured to do what was practical…then they have a lifetime of “what ifs.”
I have shared many of my mistakes in life with my kids. Children only see where you are now…they have no idea what your path was to get there. They need to know you made mistakes and that its okay to make them….actually its important to make them.
I never knew I could hurt so much or be so happy for the circumstances of another person until I had children. They have taught me compassion that is beyond anything I could have learned on my own.
Children take us out of the “all about me” place in life and force us to become others focused. This lesson is worth its weight in Gold, as it is the cornerstone for how to build a great life.
For all the Fathers out there, love your children for who they are…not who you think they should be. Encourage them every chance they get, let them know your love has nothing to do with their performance, applaud them for taking the chance, and be there to help them get back up when they fall. And most of all, thank God for having blessed you with them.