Great Dads Are A Dying Breed
Father’s Day is this Sunday and I feel compelled to join the masses in writing a bit about it. My dad preferred to buy the love of my brother and I rather than actually put some time and effort into forming relationships. When I turned ten, the love purchasing stopped for me (mainly due to me wising up) but continued for my little brother, and probably continues today. As far as ensuring a roof was over my head and food was in the fridge throughout my minor years, my dad was a great father. As far as love, support, guidance, and an actual relationship, he was a total failure. My husband can’t provide a great father story either, but that tale isn’t mine to tell.
My son Dominick’s biological father is my middle school sweetheart who I ended up engaged to in my 20s. That sentence is the nicest thing I can really say about the guy. I’ve forgiven him for hurting me and abandoning my son, but only because his abandonment allowed me to pursue a better life. It pains me that Dominick’s bio-dad is a failure and it pains me to one day have to explain this to him in a non-biased fashion, but so be it.
In spite of all these failed fathers, I’m beyond happy to know that things now are much different for my son and partly for myself. My husband knew that I had a little one from the beginning and it never seemed to bother him in the least. Sure, he expressed a little uneasiness about how my son would react to him and about diaper duty, but other than that he had no complaints and no reservations. His first real meeting with my son was a bit strained due to the fact that we were stuck in a U-Haul for thirteen hours, but after the stress from the move faded away, he dived right in and it was like he had been there all along. He was a natural father.
I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a real father by watching my husband interact with Dominick. A father isn’t a walking ATM like my dad was in my youth. A father shouldn’t be a source of pain and anguish. A father is the world’s best teacher, the person with all the answers and explanations for everything a growing mind wants to know. A father is always there to hold your hand and show you the way when you are lost or afraid. A father has the amazing ability to use the booming Daddy Voice when you do something wrong and stop you in your tracks. A father sacrifices being the child’s favorite in favor of being strict and handing out discipline, not because it’s fun but because it’s right. A father shows a boy how to become a man. A father never gives up on their child because things are getting too hard. A father’s hug can cure anything.
I may not pull six figures the way my dad did when I was young, we may not have a house with a big yard just yet or be able to go on 2 week vacations cross-country at the drop of a hat. What I do have is a husband who goes beyond incredible and who loves Dominick as his own. I have the comfort of knowing that my little man has two parents at home who love him unconditionally and who will always be there when he needs us. I have a real man at home, one who loves and supports us, who makes us laugh and who, as my son would say, makes our “hearts happy.”
My apologies for getting all Hallmark with this blog. It happens.