I am dad and it’s a privilege. I always knew I wanted kids but I didn’t know what it really took to be a dad.
And to my surprise it is waaaaay harder then what I saw from the 80’s sitcoms (The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Growing Pains and Who’s the Boss).
For me, my experience as a dad can be defined as paradoxical. It has been filled with pride and shame,satisfaction and regret, joy and pain, clarity and confusion, love and fear.
Being a dad comes with so many firsts which I was completely unprepared for. Some I got right. Others were epic fails. The rest were close enough not to create any lasting damage (I hope 😬).
I have cried tears of joy watching my kids expand to discover who they are and I have cried tears of pain knowing my actions kept my kids small.
At times I have been so overcome by insecurities, that I questioned my ability to be a dad only to later feel the warmth of confidence radiate throughout my body when a random hug is given with a whisper “I love you dad” OR when I hear “dad can I talk with you?”
I have experienced resentment when not thanked for driving them here, there and everywhere. And I have experienced extreme gratitude when the kids made my favourite meal for dinner, just because.
I have always seen my role as a dad to help my kids build their self-confidence so they can love themselves and take on life. To help me do this, every morning while the kettle boils I read Rumi’s famous quote that hangs in the kitchen:
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go”
Every action I take as a dad is fuelled by love, yet despite my best intentions there have been times I’ve caused pain because I held on too long or let go too soon.
And then there are times I find the balance and it’s euphoric, serene and fulfilling.
Being a dad has been the most rewarding role in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
So on this Father’s Day, give your old man hug because after all he too has been trying to find the balance, with love.