The Importance of Dads

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful father and an equally wonderful father to my children, my beloved husband Bret. I can’t begin to describe the impact they’ve had on me and my children but, needless to say, I’ve tried to let them know, especially today, how much I love and appreciate them both.

I want to take a minute to thank all of the other wonderful fathers out there. Dads don’t always get the recognition that they deserve but their role in our society is invaluable.

There are two gentlemen in my own community that stand out in my mind as great dads. I don’t even know their names and they probably don’t have a clue who I am but I’ve watched them in action from afar and they are such an inspiration that I wanted to share a little bit about them.

The first father has a daughter whom I’ve watched grow from the age of 4 to 11 or 12. Over the years, I’ve often see them around at various events and activities. She is a beautiful, sweet young lady who is always cheerful and well mannered and just exudes that innocence that has sadly been lost on far too many of our country’s young girls. He always has that “proud papa” look on his face and they are an obvious reflection of one another. My heart warms every time I see them.

I first saw the other father when I subbed at the preschool many years ago. He often came in to volunteer at story time. He captured those children’s attention like no one I’ve ever seen. I’ve since seen him regularly at the Oak Ridge public pool and some of our parks engaging dozens of kids with games of marco polo, chase and impromptu dance sessions. From first glance, you might think he was a camp counselor by the crowd he draws. But I’ve concluded that is not the case. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure he’s just a dad who shows up when he can and does what he does best – bring kids together to have fun and make them feel included in something bigger than themselves.

To all of you great dads out there, I hope you know how valuable you are. I know sometimes, probably a lot of times, your kids (young and adult) don’t  make you feel as appreciated as you need for them to, but don’t be discouraged. Just keep doing what you do best:  love them unconditionally, pray for them and keep the door open no matter how many times they try to slam it shut.

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