Father’s Day, June 20, is the day we celebrate Dads and all they do for us.
Like most fathers and daughters, my dad and I had a complex relationship. As a little girl, he could do no wrong: he was handsome, smart and well respected at his job. He could fix anything, solve any problem and right every wrong. He protected me, he provided for me and, in my eyes, no other man could compare.
As I got older, my perception of my dad changed. I thought I knew everything, and we often clashed. I learned how to push his buttons and sometimes caused arguments for pure entertainment. When we weren’t butting heads we were giving each other the silent treatment. Of course now I see we were more alike than different and, as the mother of two daughters, I realize where that comes from. It’s both maddening and humbling at the same time.
Today, at age 40, I appreciate my dad more than ever. He’s a great grandfather. I respect him more than words can say. When I compare his parenting approach to my husband’s, it’s night and day. Not that my husband gets it right 100 percent of the time, but gender roles and expectations compared to 30+ years ago have changed dramatically.
One thing that hasn’t changed: being a parent is hard work. Each day is an experiment. It can also be a test of wills, alternating with mind-numbingly boring times, a challenge to your stamina and, sometimes, completely infuriating. I often mess it up. But the pretty good moments counter the not-so-good moments and occasionally we see the light at the end of the tunnel. That sustains us until the next challenge.
"The toughest job you’ll ever love" is a slogan many an organization has claimed as its own but let’s give credit where credit is due: thanks to all the dads, would-be dads and father figures out there. We appreciate all you do.
Happy Father’s Day