Happy Father's Day! It is a sentiment that I have rarely had a chance to express to my own father. He was in and out of my life for many years and when he was in my life, it felt strange to say it. Happy Father's Day seems like a special statement to be reserved for the most special fathers, you know, the ones who were around to change diapers, wipe tears, give great advice, lecture that boy taking me out on my first date, and walk me down the aisle during my wedding.
Growing up, I was raised by 2 great mothers so I really didn't give fatherhood much thought. Now that I am raising 3 boys and there is a daddy in the house, I finally have a true understanding of the importance of a father in the home. I have learned by watching my boys interact with their father. When they look at him, mirrored to them is a larger version of themselves. They see the man that they will one day become. They think that he is powerful, that he has all the answers and that he can do anything that he wants to do. If he makes any promise, big or small, they expect that he can and will be a man of his word. It really is an awesome responsibility.
With very little frame of reference, I often wonder how best to celebrate father's day. This year, I decided on the personal touch. I want my sons to have fond memories of Father's day and I want their dad to have mementos of each Father's day so I bought a canvas, paint and a frame and the boys got their hands messy and colorful and made fingerprints on the canvas. It is quite a challenge to get a 2 and 3 year old to make a neat hand print. Our 6 year old is an artist, so he was all about getting the perfect hand print. We then framed it, along with a favorite photo and presented it to daddy this morning.
We are not bound by our past. Every day is another opportunity to redefine ourselves and build new memories. Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men who have risen to the challenge of being a positive reflection for a child.