I wasn't lucky enough to grow up with a father in my life.
As a result, "fathers" were a total mystery to me. The fathers of my friends seemed very nice but since I didn't have one, they made me a little nervous.
Years passed. I endured many questions during a time while single-parenting was an exception to the rule of family life and fought back tears through every Hallmark commercial that involved a daddy and his little girl.
What was this thing called "father?" I knew I was missing something but I wasn't sure exactly what.
Now I know.
Now I know.
|The day it all began...with a newborn Tommy.|
My husband became a father in 1985 with the birth of our first son, Tommy.
Six months later, without coaxing, he gave up a job he loved because it took him away from his boy.
The merchant marine who had dreamt of the sea since he was eight years old now had a different dream: to be home with his children every night. To watch them grow and be there to provide comfort and support every day.
And he did just that. Rushing home daily from a job 75 miles away, he coached them in sports and cheered at their games. He conversed with them at dinner, kissed them goodnight and gave them a sense of safety and security that has served them well as they grew, learning to navigate through a surly world.
He wrestled, listened, worried, hugged, counseled and understood. He was patient, kind, truthful and gentle. He knew when to stand back and when to leap into the fray. He fought the fight, salved the wounds and worked his way from "Daddy!" to "Hey, Dad!" with the love and respect of his sons.
And their mama.
He gave his boys what they needed to become confident, capable men. As a father, he set the bar high.
So, I wish my beloved husband Seth and all you fathers out there a very happy Father's Day this coming Sunday. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Fathers no longer make me nervous. I understand what they're supposed to do and who they're supposed to be.
It's made my sense of loss at not having grown up with one more acute and personal because I've seen what I missed.
And that has been a very good thing.