Today being Father’s Day, I thought I would take the time to reflect on my dad and fatherhood.
A quick poll over dinner with friends last night, revealed we all have different reasons we love our dad. For some it was the sacrifice of time to take a child to early morning sport, for some it was showing them a good work ethic, for some it was just time spent together.
For me, I feel like it was everything. I had one of the best childhoods imaginable. Full of fun, warmth, acceptance and most importantly, love.
I was never too big to sit on dad’s lap, never too big for a hug. In fact, I remember very clearly at a major crisis in my teenage life, his response, when he had every right to be angry and disappointed, was simply to fold me into a big hug.
One of the best things my dad taught me was to laugh, and often. From his silly made-up stories when I was little, to bad ‘dad jokes’, the most common sound in our home was laughter.
Being the youngest of five, you would expect me to have a tale of possibly being a bit neglected and forgotten about. Not so. I always felt important, noticed and interested in. My opinion mattered, regardless of my age. We were all allowed the room to question, discuss, and explore what we thought about an issue, not just be spoon-fed our parent’s beliefs or opinions.
The gift of independent thinking, is perhaps the greatest gift given to a child from a parent.
It is possibly this trait that now allows my dad and me to have the hearty discussions, debates and in-depth conversations we have today. Dad is one of my favourite people to talk to and is certainly among my best friends.
The other important thing dad did was show me what a husband was. I married someone who makes me laugh out loud every single day and who treats me with the respect and love that my dad made sure I knew I deserved.
My husband is also an outstanding father. Watching him sometimes with our children brings a lump to my throat and I know they are growing up with the same love, acceptance, warmth and attention that I did. My dad has also given the gift of a great father to his grandchildren, albeit indirectly.
So, here’s to you dad, my father and my friend. I love you heaps and although we say it often, it can never be said too much.