Father’s Day never was a really big deal when I was growing up or even as a young adult. You see, my father has been absent for most of my life. He’s still alive, he’s remarried, and has six daughters with his new wife, but I’ve never met these half-sisters and haven’t spoken to the man who contributed to my creation in years.
As such, the day never really merited much celebration. I had good male role models, my grandfather and step-father. I happily celebrated the day for them and made sure they knew how much I appreciated them, but inside my heart, I knew they weren’t my biological father, and since he didn’t seem to give a damn, I never really gave a damn about the day either.
But eleven years ago something happened to change my perspective. My daughter was born, and I suddenly realized how important Father’s Day truly is.
Please don’t misinterpret my meaning. I’m in no way suggesting that Father’s Day is now important to me because I am now the father. Although I enjoy being appreciated by my sweet angel, this day is more than a celebration of me. I now understand that I am the father I am now because of the father I had (or didn’t have).
Bad role models are sometimes far more powerful than good role models.
Because of my father, I’m a constant presence in my daughter’s life, even though I’m now divorced from her mother. She spends more than half of her time with me, and we have developed a special bond that is ours and no one else’s. I’m her playmate, confidante, snuggle bunny, but also her disciplinarian and authority figure. She has my unconditional love and never has to wonder “does Daddy love me?” She hears how much I love her every single day.
Had I not had the father I did, I might have taken my munchkin for granted or lived in the periphery of her life. I might not have taken the extra steps that all fathers should take to ensure that their child feels safe, loved, and cherished. I’m not always the good guy. In fact, there are days when I feel like I’m nothing but a pain in her ass, but all actions I take in her life, whether a hug or a reprimand, show her how much I truly love her and that no matter what, this daddy is here to stay.
So on this Father’s Day of my 39th year of life, this is my Happy Father’s Day to the man who gave me life. Without you, I wouldn’t be the man I am today, and I, and my daughter, sincerely thank you for that!