I came home this morning from working a night shift to find my children happy and eager to greet me as I pulled my car into the garage. I was handed a blindfold and then was led into the house to a beautiful surprise with my favorite breakfast, decorations and thoughtful handmade cards and gifts. My heart was full as I ate, opened and listened to all the behind the scenes stories. How Madeline made my eggs, Samantha the french toast and picked the blueberries from our garden. I heard about the inspiration for the cards, notes and presents and the work that went into them. Not a detail was spared, as they pointed out their triumphs and even their mistakes.
That level of pure excitement is what being a parent—a dad—is all about. However, it was their level of honesty in their mistakes that resonated with me. They were so proud of what they did that the idea of mistakes being made along the way was natural, to be expected. It didn’t take away from what they accomplished, why should it?
As I sat there taking it all in my mind couldn’t help but wander back to ten years ago when I first became a father. Seeing Emilie, holding Emilie, being Emilie’s father changed my life forever. That change equally multiplied welcoming Madeline and then Samantha into our family. It is a humbling experience to become a father, and even more so trying to be a successful one. I am not perfect, in fact, far from it. During my course of being a dad, I have had to learn my from triumphs as well as my many mistakes. My children this morning taught me to embrace all of those experiences, even my mistakes, equally because let’s face it I’m still learning and mistakes are natural.
Fatherhood is a calling and responsibility that I do not deserve. However, it is one that I need in order to reach my full potential as a human being. Becoming a father has allowed me to grow, develop and learn things about myself that would have been impossible otherwise. Most importantly though, fatherhood is not about me, it is about them.
It is for them that we as parents need to overcome our weaknesses, learn from our mistakes and continually strive to be better people. Doing so will hopefully allow them to fulfill their potential and become even better than us.
Today my heart is grateful for those who have made it possible to become a father. Thank you Alissa, Emilie, Madeline and Samantha for giving me the greatest of all gifts.