Sunday, June 20, 2010

For the Dads

“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.”
~ Peter De Vries

A father pushing his daughter on a playground swing; a father listening intently while his son explains what he learned in preschool that day; a father rendered helpless by the grasp of his newborn's tiny hand. When I see fathers today I sometimes wonder, who are your role models? Seahorses?

My own dad was born in 1905, but he was a lot like today's fathers in many ways. He was warm, encouraging and always ready to listen, the sort of person you could talk to about anything. He was a homework-checker, a bar-raiser, a joke-maker, a father who took pride in whatever my sisters and I accomplished. He even did magic tricks.

The thing dads need to understand is, no matter what they do, they will shape their children's estimations of themselves, and they will be remembered. My sisters and I lost our dad almost five decades ago, when I was still a child. Yet we continue to think of him, miss him and try to live up to his expectations of us every day.

Happy Father's Day, dads. Here's the lovely song Judy Collins wrote about hers.

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.”
~ Charles Wadsworth

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