I once wrote these words for my father:
“He can stop a neighborhood street game just by standing in the doorway.
Children see him and know it’s time to come in… NOW.
That’s the kind of presence you have… a silent strength that is beyond the physical,
Beyond just taking care of business — infused with deep caring and love.”
Ah, Dads… They tend to be our go to for strength, authority and the one we lean on when we need something. If Mom is our warm fuzzy (for the most part), then Dad is the “final word”... again, for the most part. Obviously, that smacks of a bygone era considering what fatherhood looks like now, but there are still those pockets of perception about the provider role of our “daddy” while “mommy” is our nurturer. As we approach Father’s Day — and because we have our fair share of dads over here at Sleep Club — we wanted to jump in on that conversation.
Like father, like, well, every kid
To all fathers out there, we know how much you matter, truly. Not just because who you are in our lives sets the stage for relationships later on, but what you bring to the table affects us physically. Yeah. Sure, Mom births us, carrying us for a bunch of time until we pop out and our nourishment comes from her while we’re waiting to arrive. For sure. Little known fact, however. You bring more to the table of kid-dom than your good looks and strong demeanor. Making us is part you, ya know? That means half of what makes us, well, us comes from you. If you’re taking care of your physical, emotional and mental well-being before you do the deed that conjures our being, the benefits are transferred to us. And, ya know, if you’re not, then, just as with moms who don’t take care of themselves while pregnant, then that does something to our wellness. The circle of life includes you.
All in all, Dads, you make us whole. You’re touchstones for kids, a fantastic Ying to the mommy Yang. Your positive involvement in our lives creates strong, beautiful male relationship aspirations for both your daughters and sons while also modeling strong gender role models for your boys. Having you in our lives — engaged with us, hanging with us, doing things with us, telling us your wonderfully irritating and deeply appreciated dad jokes — helps us be better people. We do better in school, we’re healthier, we are more balanced, focused and grounded.
We’re better humans because of you, Dad.
Even if you’re off working crazy hours, Dad, turning the little time you spend with us into something that matters to you, making it quality even if you can’t heighten the quantity, is awesome for our health and wellness on all fronts. And not just for us — your kids — but for you. It brings joy into your life, relaxes you while also energizing you, giving you a unique sense of purpose and delight. And reaching out to us when you’re away — cards, letters (yes, snail mail still matters), texts, calls, whatever — keeps you present for us and us present for you.
Oh, Dad… Wonderful, Dad…
There’s a lot of scientific evidence, research, etc., that talks about the importance of a father or father-figure in our lives. More and more studies are being done to analyze the role of the father and what it means to a child's growth and overall life. But we know what our dads feel like in our hearts.
Dads are the deep, warm voice that when they tell you it’s all going to be alright, you totally, completely and fully believe them.
Dads are the “get on the floor and play with you.”
Dads are the “silent wipe your face after a cry” and all you have to do is look in their face to see they understand.
Dads are the rocks even when they’re gentle, warm, sweet, stay-at-home, and cry at romance comedies; the pillars of maleness even if they cook, clean, dress up as princesses for their daughters, give their sons advice on how NOT to beat the shit out of a bully but stand up to them with words, or are married to/in love with/attracted to other men.
With respect and admiration
My father? Formidable. Truly the epitome of the dude who walked out on the front steps without a word and everyone scattered or called us to "come home right. This. Minute" with one of those enviable whistles created simply by pursing his lips a certain way or folding both index and middle fingers under his tongue that we could legit hear several blocks away. As I watch the amazing father my brother has become, I am constantly reminded of how dads can change, affect, matter to the extreme in our lives.
There’s a lot of rough and tumble joking that comes with celebrating dads and they are so much more than the guy behind the grill, the dude who won't ask for directions, or the man who's all fingers when changing a diaper. Our fathers see the best of us, encourage it, push us and prod us to be more than we even thought we could. They love us no matter what and show us in ways that hit us in the feels differently than our moms. Fathers are extraordinary beings and embracing their maleness, their spectacular warmth, their funny (and not so funny), their cool, their hard with the soft, their gruffness with the gentle are what makes us the best of who we — their children — are; the wonder that is, well, us.
My father’s gone now. I feel him in every moment of every day; I miss him in every way. I was very lucky he was my dad and as we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day, I can’t help but look back at how he turned the obstacles he faced into opportunities for us.
Oh, and all that stuff I said I wrote for my dad at the start? It became a greeting card. Do you remember those? Yep. An honest to goodness “social expression” card. But there was more. It ended with:
“Any male can father a child,
But it takes a man to be a dad.
You’re a dad.
With respect and admiration on Father’s Day.”
And so much love it’s impossible to equate it, Dads.
Happy Father’s Day.