I looked up at my father with wide eyes as we entered the museum. I was little enough where everything was new, but I was fascinated. I was in wonderment of knowledge and learning. I read every sign while staying close to my father’s side. It was in those moments I became a better student, a more dedicated learner, and more fascinated about the history of cultures.
Many father’s say they harbor the fear of their pains carrying to their children. In different upbringings, one carries painful memories well into adulthood. Many children struggle with the love of fathers because it was not always welcomed in society. Men were taught to be distant and rear the children, so they remained a mystery throughout time. Generations built upon the mystery of the quiet and devoted man. Perhaps displaying love in the best way they knew how. When gender roles began to shift over time, the role of the father changed too. Some fathers stayed at home, while mothers worked. Others became more present in their child’s lives, and psychology reported the importance of this bond. The continual struggle of a man’s role was molded by a child’s need to be cared for. To be noticed. To be appreciated.
I have experienced the loss of father figures, but also the redemption in a man owning his own history to become a better father. I have seen the eyes of men change as they hold their child for the first time. I have seen a world of hope when men choose to live better for the sake of building a better generation. Father’s say that mothers have more of the influence, but even the mystery men of our generations past, made a difference in the children to come.
I am incredibly grateful to have grown up with a father that cherished me as his little girl. Who went to father and daughter dances with me, roamed museums alongside me, and held me when I came home in tears. I could not ask for a better father who sacrificed his own comfort to help his children be successful. With discipline and grace, he brought up his children with being open to who he was, and welcomed the highs and lows that life brings. And I know he was not alone in his fatherhood, as he shared moments of life transitioning with my mother by his side.
I know dad sometimes wished mom was there to deal with some things, like tying my butt bow before prom, but he still was there for me. With a few good laughs and a giant bow tied, I was sent on my way to the dance. In those moments I realized the value of having a father be present. I grieve for my friends who had less joyous upbringing, but I know every story holds a chance for redemption. Whether it is a biological father, a father figure, or even a grandpa, there is a father’s love nestled in the small moments of life.
Father’s say get up and try again. Father’s say never give up. Father’s say, I love you. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who sacrificed for their children, who give up time on projects to show up for a game or recital, who believe in their children beyond any pain of the past. I am blessed by a father who loves me beyond my mistakes, my moodiness, and my trials. Thank you Dad for always being there when your children needed you. You taught us to be more than we ever thought we could be.