For many of us, our father is the most important man in our life. But we don't always appreciate what he brings to our lives and how hard he works just to make life better for his family.
A Dad teaches responsibility, shows us how to be strong in the face of challenges, and instills us with a sense of drive — even when we don't want to hear it.
A Dad is sometimes tough and sometimes tender. And there's no one more protective and caring when adversity strikes.
But, it might take you years to fully appreciate what a gem he is. Maybe Mark Twain said it best: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
Being a father is not an easy job. You have to wear a lot of hats and a lot of people rely on you. Some Dads can't devote as much quality time as they would like, but they're great providers. Others may fall short as providers, but give their kids the gift of time. In today's world, you may not be able to be the Dad who's with your kids every day, so you keep them close in your heart.
If you have young kids, now's the time to enjoy their adoration. If your kids are teens, you might be moving through the phase where they seem to barely be able to tolerate you. If your kids are grown, you're (finally!) moving into the stage where they turn to you for advice and realize what it's taken for old Dad to be the family rock all these years.
- Dads try to be problem solvers and fixers. Dad is the guy who wants to get right to the bottom of the who's, what's, where's, when's and why's so he can come up with a solution for you. He's seldom shy about telling you how you can resolve a conflict with a friend or complete a math equation (even if he's not always right!). Toys, cars, air conditioning units, gutters, computers – you name it, Dad has probably taken a hard look at it, identified the problem and attempted to fix it. That's why we turn to Dad when we need something fixed — even if it's a broken heart.
- They are confident they can provide good advice. Not sure what your next step should be in a situation? Dad's there to listen and help. And, if your Dad is an expert on saving money, learning how to swim, landing a job, driving a car, writing a class speech, or any of a hundred other things, listen. Hard.
- Comfort is a specialty. Remember the time you fell down at the playground? Or the time you studied your hardest to make an A on that test but only managed a C? What about thunderstorms at night? It was Dad to the rescue. And you always felt better after you talked with him.
- Protection? No problem. Burglars, scary dogs, bullies — and even relatives who like to pinch your cheeks — don't stand a chance when Dad's around. He can stand up to the best of them.
- You've got a friend. Fathers can be a little hard on their kids sometimes — and there are times you may think your Dad's not being fair. But you can bet that he's on your side and always does his best to be there for you. In fact, you can also bet that there's nothing he enjoys more than making you happy.
This year when Father's Day rolls around, let's thank all the Dads who love us and get love from us. They're pretty incredible, and they work every day to make our lives better.