"Happy Father's Day to all the father's, including the wannabe father's and men who step up to mentor or care for a child that isn't their own. I am lucky. I had a father who loved me and taught me many good things. The truth is, he was far from perfect but he was the perfect father for me.
It's not always the big things that matter the most. In the last year of his life as I was chatting my head off telling him all the things I had learned recently, he paused for a moment, looked at me and said, "You know, you're very interesting to listen to." That simple statement meant a lot to me - still does. My father just told me "I'm interesting," and confirmed he was listening to me. I didn't feel like a burden or project to him or that he was put out. He freely offered his time to me.
Fathers sometimes feel as if they are not as important as mothers, particularly if the mother is the primary caregiver. I'm here to tell you that fathers are just as important as mothers. The first man a daughter will love is her father. The way a father treats his wife, daughter and other women will directly impact how she feels about herself as a person.
If you've made mistakes, take accountability for them. Children are resilient and forgiving. They want their fathers, flawed or not. You would be surprised what your children are capable of forgiving. I know. I was one of these children. Even in my father's imperfection, he was teaching me - teaching me that it's okay if I'm not perfect. No one is.
If there is one message I would like to put out to fathers everywhere today, it is that you are needed, wanted and loved. We are watching when you don't think we are; we are taking mental notes when you give advice; and we are hoping you know we love and need you though we don't express it as often as we should.
Love ya, Dad!
(Painting 'The Crown', by Carl-Martin Sandvold.)
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