Friday, June 17, 2011

Fathers I have known

With Father's day coming up I have been thinking of the fathers that have had an impact on my life in some way.  There are too many for me to really go into all of them so here are the ones that are foremost in my mind right now.

First off of course is my own dad.  The main thing that I remember about my dad is how much he loves to play and be silly.  He has always been good with kids and even to this day I enjoy being silly and crazy with him.  While I do remember him being more of an authoritarian and we often clashed (or as my family would say "often frequently") I also loved the quiet times where we'd sit by the camp fire talking about nature.  To this day I look up to him and seek his advice.  I may not always agree with what he has to say, but I still value it.

Next up is my brother.  Growing up I often (again, "often frequently") tormented him.  But I also felt protected by him and in many ways looked up to him.  He has always been very empathetic and cares about others deeply.  He is now a father of two.  The times we've been able to visit I love watching how he parents.  I love hearing the stories he has to tell and his strategies for dealing with different situations.  He too has inherited the fun, crazy and silly side of our dad. I have seen him comfort his sons with so much tenderness it would melt any heart.  Even during his stressed out times he has found ways to keep his cool and meet his kids needs.

Another person I think of is someone who recently died.  Don was more of a grandfather to me.  He was always very kind, calm and yet fun loving.  Don was a peaceful presence who welcomed and embraced everyone.   I remember many times I'd be sitting in his home and would just sit by his feet, just to be close to him.  I wasn't around him a lot during the years I could most have benefited from his wisdom, but he did teach me that sometimes a quiet smile and a peaceful presence is enough.

No list of fathers would be complete without my husband.  Adam has been an amazing teacher to our daughters.  He readily and easily will explain things to our eldest and will help her understand even the most difficult concepts.  He's tender with them both and his eyes light up when they give him so much as a smile.  I will always remember one particular moment with our eldest.  She was a new baby, we had brought her home less than a week before.  She was laying on the couch and he had a small duck that rattled.  I listened as he lightly tapped it to her nose and said "the duck is eating your nose! The duck is eating your nose!"  Then he paused as she looked at him and he said "that's silly!  Ducks don't eat noses.  No... they eat TOES!" and proceeded to have the duck "eat" her toes.  It was at that moment that I really felt he was going to be a great dad.

There are so many more dads out there that have inspired me and helped me learn through the years.  I cannot do service to even half of them.  So, to the dads that have been part of the village that raised me and to the dads that are part of the village I'm now raising my children in I thank you. 

So take a moment this Father's Day and remember those fathers in your life that have given you something, even as simple as a smile or a peaceful moment. 


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