Let's honor the dads

June 22, 2016

(This was originally published in a special Sunday edition of my newsletter, in honor of Father's Day 6/19/16.)

If you've followed my newsletter, you know that I've told stories of some not so pleasant memories with my own father, and hopefully you also heard me say how much I value all the lessons I received from him as a result.  He has been critically important to my life, and for that I will always be grateful.  He did help me become the person I am today.  Being my only parent for the majority of my life, for me to not honor him would simply be wrong.  

So, thank you, Alvin Frances, deeply. Thank you for the times at Lake MacBride when you'd play with me in the water, throwing me high so I could cannonball in. For the road trips. For teaching me to be a good driver. For helping me develop a great work ethic. For teaching me consistency and efficiency. For the pretty Sunday night drives that would end with a root beer float at the A&W Drive-In.  For all the turkeys carved at holidays. All the grilling in the backyard. For the difficult life lessons that helped me learn fortitude and fairness. For meaning well and doing the best you could. I know you loved me. I hope you know I love you.    

I've had the privilege to know a lot of really great dads, and must say that fatherlove is just as important as mother love, and just doesn't get enough good press.  

I've also had the great privilege to witness a divorced dad holding the role of both mother and father.  A father who is as emotionally present in an instant to his kids as I've ever seen of any parent, while also doing all the traditional dad things while also being a very busy businessman.  

A father who blends masculine and feminine energy with such ease is a beautiful thing to behold; I know a few men who posses this wonderful combination, and wish we would bottle it up and all of us could take it in and live it, too.  We need both.  The more we have both in ourselves, the more grounded and effective we are, quite frankly.  To be only one denies our true nature, in my opinion.  

My father was not emotionally intelligent like what I witness in the dad of whom I speak.  It makes me weep to listen to how he is there for his kids with his whole heart and presence when they're experiencing anxiety, doubt, confusion, as they wrestle with their identities and place in the world, growing pains, as well celebrating as their joys and successes and interests and just enjoying every day life with them.  

That's really what we all crave.  Someone to be there, attend and witness to us fully as if no one else in the world mattered.  

That is something I didn't feel much from my own father, so in a way, I feel I'm receiving it now by simply witnessing this beauty of fatherhood in this friend. It's been very healing, and for that I'm grateful.  

So, here's to the dads who show up for their loved ones day in and day out, in all the ways they can.  Let's support and lift them up, let them know they matter and that we see them.  We need to attend to them just as much, to complete the circle of love and keep it spiraling ever stronger and deeper.


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