Today I’m celebrating my first Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to it, but I have to admit that I feel a little selfish. Since my son Caelan was born just 10 weeks ago I’ve felt like the luckiest man in the world. I honestly think I should be celebrating him, not the other way around.
Earlier this week a friend asked how I was feeling about fatherhood. Specifically, he wanted to know if I felt intimidated by the responsibility of being a good father. Of course I want to be the best father possible, and I’m sure I’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way, but I’m not really too worried about it. After all, I had the best teacher I could have ever hoped for – my father.
Here are some of the things my father has taught me about being an amazing father:
Believe – My father always believed in me. Even when he had concerns about some of my decisions in life, he still believed in me. That support gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and live life on my terms.
Teach – My father taught me everything he possibly could. He taught me practical skills like how to use tools, but also recognized the importance of teaching me things like how to treat others with respect, what it means to live with integrity and the value of family.
Play – I clearly remember how much fun it was to play with my dad. Whether we were wrestling on the floor or simply talking at the dinner table, there was always a sense of playfulness in my life.
Talk – I always felt that I could talk openly and honestly with my father. I can talk to him anytime about anything, free from judgment. I believe that is one of the keys to our strong relationship.
Sacrifice – I always felt that my father put my and my mother’s needs first, even if it meant that he had to sacrifice some of his own needs. That gave me an incredible sense of security growing up.
Be an example – No words can equal the power of a good example. I didn’t learn what a great man is by being told about it, my father simply demonstrated it to me every day by being a living example.
Love – My father always made me feel loved. He told me and he showed me, every day. There’s nothing more important.
My father taught me these things and so much more. I feel as if he’s been preparing me my entire life for my new job as a father. And at those times when I find myself wondering what to do, I only need to ask myself what my father would do and I know I’ll be guided in the right direction.
If I can be to my son what my father is to me, I’ll have succeeded at being an incredible dad.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.