I'm a stay at home dad, so Father's Day is like Christmas to me. I love it! First, there's the presents, then the gorging on food for pretty much the whole day, and if that wasn't enough everyone praises me for all the hard work I put in to being a dad. I falsely try to be humble, but man, I just soak it all up.
Actually, Father's day is somewhat of a hard day for me. My parents divorced when I was six, and my dad moved to California with my oldest brother. My other brother and my sister stayed with me and my mom as we moved to Florida. I don't really remember seeing my dad much when I was younger. Occasionally I'd go out there for a week or two in the summer, but that was it. Over the next few years and for a variety of reasons, my sister and my brother went to live with my dad as well, and I was alone with my mom. I felt I couldn't leave her even though I really missed the rest of my family.
Although I don't regret staying with my mom, I never learned what being a dad was all about. Even though my siblings tell me that he wasn't the greatest role model, they at least had something to work from when they had their own kids. I was flying blind when my first son was born. I was incredibly nervous like I'm sure most first time dad's are. However, I was nervous for different reasons. Instead of worrying about how I'm going to care for this new baby, I was worried about what even being a dad meant. I remember thinking I had no role model, no one to emulate.
Then my wife and friends reminded me that I have another Father. One that's been there all along. He has cried when I cried and carried me when I couldn't walk. He was there when I ran away from Him and didn't judge me when I returned. He was the perfect example of how to be a dad, and the best part was he wanted to show me how I could be a great dad too.
Now that my second son is about to enter Kindergarten, I look back on how my heavenly Father has taught me. Sometimes the lessons aren't always clear and sometimes I refuse to listen, yet like a good teacher, He is there waiting for me to come back. He celebrates my sons’ accomplishments and He comforts them when they are sick or hurt. He has taught me that the most important part of being a dad is just showing up. Always being there for them emotionally and physically is way more important than what I think I mess up doing. I didn't understand when I started this journey that not only was God going to make me a better dad than what I had, but He was going to make me a better man.
Happy Father's Day!