Our social media campaign this week has been about fathers. It’s a little early to celebrate fathers since Father’s Day is three months away, but since no great athlete has ever turned to the camera and said, “Thanks, Dad” we think father’s deserve a little shout out now and again.
I’m a father of nine children. This is a photo of all of them. I’m in the throes of fathering ages three through twenty-one. My day consists of toddlers climbing on me and giving me kisses, young children asking me to read to them and to look at this drawing or that leaf or rock they have found, teenagers who tell me I’m wrong and that I just don’t understand but that I'm still an awesome dad, and adult children who periodically say, “I’m glad that you taught me that.” It’s a full spectrum.
There are days I feel unwanted and unappreciated. But most days I feel loved. I’m learning that fatherhood is a roller coaster with dramatic ups and terrifying downs. There are a lot of days I wish I could do more to help my children succeed; to find more time to be with them and play with them, to help them understand not to waste potential or squander a single minute of precious life.
I love being a father but it’s not easy. It’s far more than a full time job and if you want to do it well, there are sacrifices to be made. But in the end, when one of the grown children says, “I’m glad you taught me that!” I know that I’m on the right track.
So, to all the fathers out there, keep up the good work.