Father’s Day Reflections
Another Father’s Day has come and gone and for some it was a grand time filled with celebration and excitement while for others it went by almost unnoticed.
No matter how you spent the day, I hope you thought deeply about your relationship with your father. If you are an adult, living away from your father’s home, your relationship will have changed somewhat from the days when you resided under the same roof. You might not be able to experience the physical closeness that you once had with your Dad, but you can always remember his lessons and his love.
It is important for us all to remember what we learned from our Dad’s because no matter how much we might have disagreed with it at the time, deep within everything they said there was a grain of wisdom and truth, wrapped up in loving intentions. Our Dad’s tried to send us on a path…regardless of whether or not it was a path we wanted to follow doesn’t matter now. What matters is that in our Dad’s mind, he wanted us to do well. No matter how harsh, how mild, how emphatic or how ordinary his words or his actions might have seemed at the time, it was his intention to help us to a better, brighter future.
Some of you have lost your Father and that is sad because you will never be able to tangibly experience his lessons or his love again. Some of you have simply lost touch with your Father because of logistics or disagreements. If your father is still alive and you have not spoken with him for some time, I encourage you to remember the good times with your Dad and think about visiting him or at least picking up the phone. Don’t wait for him to call you…Father’s often tend to want their children to fly-on-their- own once they have left the nest. They sometimes fear that they might interfere in the natural flow of life that their offspring enjoy. Sometimes they simply fear rejection from the one they love the most! Forgive them, for they are trapped within their own belief system!
The relationship between a Father and his Son or Daughter is special. It is the Father’s role to protect his progeny from harm and make certain that life treats them fairly. Most men are born with a natural propensity for paternity. We understand from an early age that although we cannot give birth, we must be the ones who make the lives or our children wonderful; filled with fun, happiness, and security. Most of us Dad’s will go through life, thinking about our children and wondering if at any moment in time, they are out of harm’s way. We will drop whatever we are doing and race to the aid of our kids if we sense that they are in trouble or if danger is lurking. A father’s life is not complete until he is confident that his children are going to always be safe and secure. A father is an instinctive defender of his children and most of us take that role very seriously. Sometimes we might seem overly protective…but we can’t help it!
Most importantly, Father’s love their children. Often, because of familial or cultural conditioning, men do a poor job of expressing their love. They hold back and do the manly thing of being strong, curt, or even critical. The most uncommunicative fathers frequently wish they could be more expressive…that they could be more like mothers who kiss the tears away from their children’s eyes while consoling them and telling them that everything will be okay.
For some Father’s protection means being tough… it means teaching kids that the world is a harsh place and that children must learn to be strong in order to survive. For some kid’s it seems that nothing they do is ever good enough for their Dad. In reality, everything difficult thing they do to try in order to meet Dad’s standards or to please Dad is exactly what he wants. He wants to see them TRY and he wants to see them put in a good deal of effort. Even if perfection is not achieved, regardless of whether he cheers, nit-picks, or criticizes, a Dad only wants to see his children do well. His paternal instinct tells him that he must be involved and he must always impart lessons to his kids so that they can succeed in all they do.
Next year on Father’s Day, I hope you think deeply about your Dad and all of the good he brought into your life. Forget about the bad things! The past is in the past and can never be repeated. However, if you remember the good lessons and how they shaped your present, the future will seem oh, so much brighter.
All the Best!