My dad is one of the biggest influences in my life. Throughout my childhood, he was there to teach me important lessons and pick me up when I fell down; now, in my adult life, he is the person I go to for advice and a good laugh. He gave me an excellent taste in music and movies, and never hesitates to share the wisdom he has gained from his successes, mistakes, and failures. My dad’s role in my life helped shape me into the woman I am today.
Being the first child allowed me to form a close bond with my father. If I wasn’t before, I officially became a “daddy’s girl” when my sister was born. For the first three years of my life, I was the sole object of my parents’ attention, but my new sister dominated my mom’s time because she needed her more than I did. So, my dad was the one I turned to when my mom was busy with the baby. He became my main entertainer, storyteller, chef, and captive audience on a regular basis. He was also there to care for my sister when she didn’t specifically need my mom’s attention so that she could spend that time with me or get some much-needed rest
My dad was also a formidable authority figure. When my mom couldn’t get us to behave for her, all she had to say was the classic phrase, “Just wait until I tell your father about this,” and we became perfect angels. We respected our mom, but we had a greater respect for our father when it came to his role as discipliner. He has a deep, rumbling voice and is fairly tall: a highly effective combo for intimidation and authority.
At the same time, he was the one we went to after receiving our sentence, (be it a time out, a loss of privileges, or a grounding), to expressed our remorse and understanding. This was sure to get us a much shorter or leaner punishment, while the same tactics would not have been as effective on our mom; that is why she was always sure to reinforce the earlier punishment. Together, my parents made an impressive team.
As his daughters, my dad set an important example for my sister and I of what a husband and father should be. The way he treated my mom, provided for all of us by working hard, took out the trash, and cleaned the dishes showed us what we should one day expect in our husbands. There is a reason it is the father who gives away the bride at a wedding; a girl’s dad is the most important man in her life until she gets married. A dad puts his daughter in the hands of her husband, turning over his position as protector, provider, and caretaker.
I don’t have any brothers, but if I did, my dad would have played a similar role for them. He would be the example of the kind of husband and father they should one day strive to be. The way he loved my mom would have shown them how to love their future wives. Through him, they would have learned what it means to be a man; not the macho, bulky, and emotionally distant figure often presented in TV and movies, but the caring, strong, and wise man he proved himself to be.
Dads, know that you have a tough, but vital job. Your children rely on you, maybe more than you know, and look to you as a mold that they will fill, either with their husbands or themselves. You are one of the most important people in your kids’ lives, whether you spend every day with them or only a limited time. So make that time count, and remember that you matter.