Father’s Day is right around the corner! It is that time of year where wives and kids show Dad how much he is appreciated, loved and valued in their family. This may be your very first Father’s Day and if so, CONGRATULATIONS! Having a child is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have in your lifetime. More precious than any job promotion, annual award or any other professional accolades, the opportunity to love and raise a child is truly one of life’s most unique gifts—because it transcends time. If this is not your first rodeo with Father’s Day….CONGRATULATIONS! You already know how special you truly are as a Dad: the joy in your young child’s voice when you walk through the door; the awestruck look when you fix things or figure something out that is a ‘Dad Job’; the guidance and comfort you offer when something didn’t go well at the game or recital – these are only some of those things we do as Daddy that your family depends on you for. Either way, share this day with your family, savor these moments, and make memories this Father’s Day!
On this Father’s Day, be sure to let your family know how much you value their appreciation of you. You’ll feel special letting them know they made you feel special…and it teaches your kids about reciprocating love. Now….what to do with the rest of your day? After the hugs, kisses, cards and gifts what does your day with your family look like? Too often, we Dads fall into the stuff we need “To Do” for our family. It’s a busy time in our lives as Dads, and none of us are perfect; we have family matters, bills, work expectations, broken things to fix and that always-ominous “The Future” to worry about and consume our thoughts. It is our joyful burden and responsibility as the 'man of the house'.
The trouble is, many of these every-day responsibilities can pull us away from the very things we care about most and are working so hard for: our family. It’s a crummy paradox. To nurture our families, we often have to do things that somehow separate us. Kids are intent observers of their world and they know when someone is truly engaged and interested, or just going through the motions. Where do we fall as Dads? For myself, I’m always running the risk of busying myself with too much: too much work, too many projects; too many bucket lists; too many “to do’s”. It is my nature, and I’ve learned to acknowledge it. But there is a way to bring balance to this paradox and it is something I work on every single day: some days and some parts of the day we just need “To Be” for our families.
On this Father’s Day, I encourage all Dads, new or used, ;-) to just “Be”. One of the most powerful, most memorable, most precious gifts you can give your child is your TIME. Fully engaged, full-attention time. Time to play, time to listen, time to talk, time to love and nurture, time to guide, time to teach, time to “Be”. And here is where the surprise Father’s Day gift truly lies, and is one you can get every day of the year: when you give wholly of yourself to your family, you get back more than you ever gave. And the bonus? There are no boundaries on time, which means there is no end to the love you give and receive! It is the principle of being “selflessly selfish”. It feels good to be loved, valued and appreciated, and when you give these gifts without an agenda or expectation, you’ll always get them back!