I am the person I am today from the influence of fathers all around me. I had my dad from birth who instilled in me the greatest work ethic ever. From the beginning he encouraged independence that has never left me, but reminds me often that I am still his little girl—even at almost 40 years old. Shortly later came my stepdad, who met me at age four and loved me unconditionally right from the start. From oil changes to teaching me to fish, he has always been there for me and for that I will always be grateful. My father-in-law started watching me grow at age twelve, then when his son and I started dating at age fifteen he took me into his family. I have felt like his daughter ever since. How lucky a girl I am to have all three of them in my life!
Now over the last fifteen years I have had the gift of watching my husband weave through the web of fatherhood. What I have realized in reflecting on my own relationships and observing him with his, is that we do not always acknowledge the importance of fathers or the pressures they face. There is a movie scene from a recent real-life version of Peter Pan where the mother is helping the children understand the behavior of their father; a conversation quite similar to some I have had with our kids. She explains that there are many different types of bravery and one of those is putting others before oneself and making many sacrifices for our family. She goes on to say that their father has tucked many of his dreams in a drawer and late at night he pulls them out. Sometimes this drawer gets harder and harder to close.
My husband has now decided to open the drawer! He has discovered that tucking away his passions was not the example he wanted to be and that there was more than just talking that needed to be done—he was leaving out the doing. Having him “come alive” is changing the dynamics of this house. The family is energized, motivated, full of creative ideas, and feeling like anything is possible. Through all of his trial and error he is discovering the importance of fathers and creating a platform for others to join in the conversation. His personal conversations with the kids are at Poppiopushover and a more interactive discussion is happening at DadLeadership. In my opinion, just as everyday is Mother’s Day, I believe it is Father’s Day too. Happy Father’s Day to all of you out there living your dreams and reminding all of our children they can do the same!!