The best fathers I know are the ones who worry that they'll fail their children. They're the best because they constantly try harder in an attempt to disprove their theory. They're never complacent when it comes to making sure their children are cared for and loved. And they never accept someone else telling them, "Hey, you're really doing a great job with your kids."
Because I've never been a parent, I am an expert on parenting. I'm kidding, people. However, the truth is, I'm something of an omniscient observer when it comes to relationships of all kinds. I pay attention to interaction and the subtleties therein.
So, here's the thing, dads:
- Your kids probably won't truly appreciate your efforts until they are well into their twenties.
- No relationship of any kind is perfect. So, just because your relationship with your kid(s) isn't perfect, that doesn't mean it's irrevocably flawed in some way.
- Somebody is always going to find something you do annoying, and that's okay. We're all individuals, even your children, and we don't always see eye-to-eye.
- You are loved, even if that love is unspoken.
- You're admired. Just because a kid rolls his eyes, doesn't mean he doesn't see the bigger picture. Kids have to be cool, feel in control, and remain true to their species.
- Eventually your kids will come back around to hugging you. In the meantime, it's okay to ask for a hug. Sometimes kids want and need to know that it matters to you.
- Your kids will remember you teaching them how to ride a bike as well as your cheers of triumph when they finally "get it," and they will be forever grateful. The same holds true if you teach them to fish.
- It's perfectly alright to swell with pride when your kid introduces you (granted, you may have to insist on said introduction), and says, "This is my Dad."
- When you get tears in your eyes and your voice quavers a little as you speak of your childrens' accomplishments, you are, in that instant, the most beautiful man in the world.
- Before you know it, your kids will be grown, intelligent, independent, interesting adults. You will scratch your bald and/or graying head and wonder how and when it all happened. Take some credit - it's because they have you for a dad.
Have a very Happy Father's Day!