Daddies make the world a better place.
While every family dynamic is different, a dad who cares and plays an active role in the lives of his children is a good thing. A good dad gives his sons an understanding of what it means to be a man (and not in a crazy macho kinda-way) and gives his daughters a sense of self-worth. A good dad helps his children grow into mature and unique individuals, teaches them how to make choices, and helps them learn to trust others. How do Daddies make the world a better place?
1. Daddies teach us how to be strong.
I remember when I was little, I would watch my dad mow the grass as I ran around outside with all my friends. I remember thinking how strong he was to be pushing that big heavy lawn mower up our seemingly mountainous hill (it’s looking a lot less mountainous these days…). Later as I watched him suffer from serious health problems, I saw a different kind of strength – a strength of endurance and even grace.
2. Daddies teach us how to be weak.
I don’t remember how old I was when I realized that my dad was kidding when he said he knew everything. He still tries to tell me he knows everything when we disagree on something, and sometimes – he does know things I never would have guessed. Still, as I’ve grown up, I have seen my dad through a different lens – not the lens of superhero, my daddy can beat up your daddy with his hands behind his back – but the lens of reality. Just like every other person in the world, my dad is not perfect; he has flaws, and that’s okay.
3. Daddies comfort us when we are little.
Apparently when I was little, I got sick a lot. The only way they could get me to go to sleep was if my dad would hold me with my head on his chest so I could hear his heart beating. Clearly, this couldn’t always be the routine for bedtime and naptime, so they started putting a wind-up ticking clock under my pillow. Even today, if I can’t fall asleep, I will try to find a ticking clock to help me (there’s a white-noise app for my iPhone which works too!). I remember my Daddy coming into my room and tucking me in super-tight at night and singing me the same lullaby. There was a certain mix of dread and delight as it neared the end, knowing my dad would leave the room and I could sleep – but wishing he could sing to me all night long.
4. Daddies comfort us when we are big.
Since moving over 1400 miles away from home about a month ago, my life has changed a lot. One day I was talking to my dad and we were having a really great chat. After about 45 minutes, we had run out of things to update one another on, and he said he was giving me a big hug. I wrapped my arms around myself and told him I was hugging him too and that I loved him. I heard his voice crack just a tiny bit as we were saying goodbye, and I cried a little when I got off the phone. I had been sick for about a week at the time of that phone call and had been feeling kind of alone that day, but his phone hug absolutely brightened my day.
5. Daddies teach us how to love.
My dad used to ask, “who loves you?” I would joke with him and answer “Mom”, “Grandma”, “Grandpa”, “God”, “Jesus”, “my brother”, and anyone else I could think of before finally saying “You”! When I was little, I never doubted it – and now that I am grown, I still always know that my Daddy loves me. He loves me every second of every day, no matter what. He has shown me what it means to be loved and what it means to love. He has been there through every up and down. My daddy has shown me perfect love.
The world needs good Daddies who are willing to be actively involved in the lives of their children. If you are already that kind of Daddy, thank you so much. Your kids (whether they do now or not) will thank you for your influence in their lives. If you have kids, but have not been as involved as you feel you should have been, it is never too late to start. Wounds take time to heal, but today is better than never.
If you are a man going through a divorce and you are scared to fight for your kids, or you think that you don’t matter as a dad, or your ex-wife is telling you that you can’t or won’t see your kids – FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS! If your kids are old enough to have a say (usually 12), let them. If they aren’t, you have to fight for them; they will thank you some day. If you are a woman going through a divorce, do not use your children against your ex-husband. Unless he is a negative influence on their lives (not just yours!) then your children deserve to have him in their lives.
I was blessed to be old enough to make the decision when my parents got divorced, and my parents both respected the fact that my brother and I wanted to be a part of both of their lives. Even when things got ugly between them, they still respected US enough to allow us the blessing of keeping both our Mommy and our Daddy!
Daddies truly do make the world a better place, and I am so grateful for the good Daddies out there.
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