From the moment our son was born, my husband was a hands-on dad. I had to return to work seven weeks after giving birth. My husband did all of the night feedings without complaint. He happily prepared breakfast and got our little guy ready for daycare by packing the diaper bag and preparing the bottles. Bottles had to be sterilized in a pot on the stove. He faithfully took care of that job every night after dinner. He also did the family laundry.
We have family videos proving what a patient dad he was to our children. He would watch all of the Nick Jr. shows that I didn’t have the patience to watch. He would let them practice their karate kicks and pretend sword fighting on him. He laid in the bed with them reading the same books over and over “one more time Dad”.
Through his patience he showed all of our boys that gentleness doesn’t diminish manhood. It takes a strong man to be gentle. He showed our daughter what it feels like to be loved with gentleness and respect.
He planned beach vacations every year and those memories are the foundation of our family’s love and affection for each other. He spent hours digging in sand for no reason other than a small child wanted him to. He sat in a sand chair watching kids skim board and giving a thumbs up for every success and encouragement for every fall. It was through this type of fathering that he taught our children that they could accomplish anything that they wanted and it was okay to fail and try again.
He selflessly drove thousands of miles taking kids to ball games and tennis matches. He sat on the sidelines like a model dad, encouraging and never criticizing. He taught them to respect their opponents and how to lose with grace even through disappointment. He taught them how to pick themselves up again and offered encouragement to try again.
He showed them how to respect a wife through his actions. I see my boys, now men, show affection and pride for their wives and it reminds me of their dad. He showed them how to give gifts of affection with thoughtfulness.
Through this particular stage of fatherhood, he is showing them that it’s okay to cry if you need to. It’s okay to take time to grieve a loss. He is showing them that he loves them unconditionally forever. He is showing them that he doesn’t have the answer for everything and some things just require faith and perseverance. He is showing them that some days a man just has to put one foot in front of the other and try his best. That takes real strength.
Peace and Love.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.
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