Parenting is an odyssey. We start out with helpless infants that depend on us for everything. It's exhausting as we put their needs before our own. Just as we grow comfortable in that role, we as parents have to stand back and allow them to take a first step, go off to preschool and discover just who they are. We become cheerleaders, standing at the sidelines applauding as they develop their own interests and talents. Somewhere along the way, seemingly without warning, we have to step away, let go and allow them become adults. Hardly seems fair after all we've invested.
I think that mothers get the spotlight in the parent-appreciation arena. You rarely hear a young athlete shouting "Hi, Dad!" Far fewer tattoos dedicated to dads. Father's Day just seems to have less pomp and circumstance. The role of a father is mired in its own complexities. In our family, the father is the hard rock to my motherly soft support. He is the strong word to my gentle encouragement. He is the invisible provider while I shower them with things.
My kids are so blessed to have their father. Sometimes I am not sure they appreciate it yet, but they will. They will understand that he will unconditionally love and support them all their days. They have a father whose love runs so deep yet he will take on the tougher role and allow me to nurture. A father who strives to teach by example. A father who picks them up when they fall, says "you can do it, I believe in you," and sends them on their way. A father who is missing his own father this Father's Day. It's a tough and often under-celebrated role.
Parenting is hard and I am grateful to have my husband, Joe, on the odyssey with me. We share the highest highs imaginable and support each others through the lows that only your children can bring on. I couldn't imagine this odyssey with anyone else. Happy Father's Day, Joe!