Author’s Note: The following is as slightly revised version of my Father’s Day post. It has been updated to include a few more memories for this week’s Monday Listicles, which had the topic of “10 Happy Memories of Dad, Husband, Etc.,” which was provided by Kim at The G Is Silent.
It’s Father’s Day, y’all, so as a big shout out to all the stellar dads out there, here is a list of just a few of the reasons why they rock.
1. They seem to effortlessly strike the perfect balance between a lot of love and a little bit of fear. As a child, all it took was my dad picking up the salt shaker and firmly
slamming it placing it on the table for my siblings and me to remember our table manners. Words need not be exchanged. Similarly, all it took (and still takes) is a gentle look from my dad, when he gets a tiny twinkle in his eye, for me to know how much he loves me and is proud of me. Again, words need not be exchanged.
2. They don’t fall into no-win traps of the comparison game. Unlike the mommy wars, which tend to flare up periodically, I have never, ever heard a stay-at-home dad criticize a working dad for his decision to do so, nor vice versa.
3. They add a little silliness to the family. Nothing is more contagiously funny than seeing my husband and my boys playing a rousing game of “tickle monster.”
4. They show children the value of pursuing a dream. As the owner of his own business, my dad was constantly filled with stress and anxiety, but I never once questioned that he absolutely loved his job and that he was pursuing his life’s passion.
5. They remind us of what is really important. My husband is constantly reminding me that it matters less whether my son knows how to tie his shoes and more whether he is growing up to be a kind person. A clean house matters less than a happy family.
“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ’We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ’We’re raising boys.’ ~Harmon Killebrew
6. They teach us that love and respect are actions, not just emotions. When recently asked, “What does Dad do to show you he loves you?” My son responded with “He always finds my blankie for me and he gives me lots of hugs and kisses.” Sometimes nothing says “I love you” more than finding a lost blankie.
7. They teach us the importance of having fun. Boat rides, card and dice games, playing the accordion, and bowling were all hobbies of my two grandpas, which they shared with the rest of their family.
8. Their strength is complemented by their tenderness. I will never forget the image of my strapping grandpa holding his tiny newborn great-grandson (whose middle name was given for him).
9. They show us that men can show emotion – sadness, joy, fear, and gentleness – without the fear of seeming any less “manly.” My other grandpa wore his heart on his sleeve and shared the full range of human emotions with those around him. He was one of the most sentimental, affectionate, peaceful men I have ever known.
10. They love us unconditionally. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by loving men, who are (or were in the case of my deceased grandfathers) extraordinary husbands as well.
A special thanks this Father’s Day to my husband for being a fabulous dad to our two boys and for making my job as their mom so much fun…To my dad for teaching me the importance of confidence, strength, and fortitude…And to my father-in-law for helping my husband learn how to be such a great dad.