What does it take to be the kind of father you wish you had in childhood?
I grew up wondering about this question — a lot. My dad passed away when I was six months old. This left my mom to take on the courageous role of being mom and dad to my brother and me. She did a noteworthy job, if I must say so myself. She taught me all about resiliency, strength, love, compassion, and the importance of leading life with a grateful heart. My mom raised the bar really high as far as parenting goes.
While I didn’t know any other way of life, I was still curious what it would be like to have a father. I wondered about everything to do with the relationship and interaction between dads and their kids.
It wasn’t until I was married and had a family of my own, that I finally received a front row seat to witness the ins and outs of fatherhood. Lucky for me, the man I married wanted nothing more than to become a dad. His greatest pride and joy is being with our sons; he is a devoted father.
I feel so grateful to see my kids interact and bond with their dad. Witnessing the special relationship between my husband and sons has given me the greatest gift of a lifetime. I get to see my children have the kind of father I once dreamed about. It doesn’t get any better than that.
These are the top three things my husband has taught me about fatherhood:
1) Love Runs Deep for Dads Too
Dads love deeply, just like moms. They hurt when their kids hurt, and they feel great joy watching their children laugh and play. Dads can also be found gazing at their child in a deep slumber. They too wonder how any human being could be made to be so perfect.
Dads live for snuggles and hugs and being asked endless questions from their eager counterparts. At the end of the day, they would do anything to keep their children safe and loved — a father’s love runs deep and is powerful.
2) Dads Take Their Role as “Super Dad”(Mostly) Seriously
Being a dad means you are someone’s hero. This is not to be taken lightly. There is a huge responsibility in being a role model and teacher to your child. The best of the best in the “super dad” arena seem to intrinsically know their role is important. They don’t sweat the details or worry if they are doing things right. They roll with the punches (literally) and they have no problem making complete fools of themselves.
While they may sometimes wear a hard exterior, their mini-me knows dad says what he means and means what he says. But don’t let this hard shell fool you because inside “super dad” lives a giant teddy bear who views his child as the one who is the superhero in the relationship.
3) Happiness is Dad’s Greatest Wish
Dads will give their kids as many opportunities as possible to learn, grow and stretch beyond their comfort zones. Their tough love approach and unwavering support is meant to teach their kids to be strong in the face of uncertainty, and humble in the face of great success. They want their kids to always try their best and be proud of who they are.
While dads naturally have these big hopes and dreams for their kids, at the end of the day their greatest wish, above all others, is for their kids to be happy in life. The countless hours teaching, coaching, playing and interacting with their children is what equates to happiness in their eyes. They want their kids to carry this feeling forward throughout their lifetime. A happy kid is a happy dad — on Father’s Day and every day.
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Originally published at emilymadill.com