The beer has been cracked, presents opened, and countless #FathersDay shoutouts on Twitter and Facebook have finally settled down, and I’m here reflecting on another Father’s Day searching for a man to look up too, to praise for putting his kids first. I’ve started this post now three times, trying to get my thoughts together, trying to understand my feelings. I don’t know why I still get so emotional on Father’s Day. This is now the second time I’ve teared up today; I swear I’m stronger than this. My heart aches for the fatherless child I was, who spent years trying to understand why her Father didn’t love her, why he didn’t want to spend time with her. I’d leave angry voicemails for him cursing him for loving his new family, and not loving me. I needed him…and he was never there. It took me a long time to stop being angry at him, to release the pain and accept the past for what it was. He was supposed to be the first real “man” in my life – and he left. So much for a good role model. His absence affected me in ways I didn’t realize until now. It shaped my view of me and men. For the longest time I thought, how is any man supposed to love me when my own Father doesn’t?
Luckily his absence doesn’t cripple me anymore, I’ve been able to look past it, but I still don’t have a great father role model to look up too. I lost my one good example of a strong father role model, my Grandpa, four years ago on the morning of my 23rd birthday. Bless his beautiful soul. So on this Father’s Day I look past my blues and praise all of the amazing Fathers out there who love their children and show them every chance they get. Being a Father to me is one thing, but being a Dad is another. Dad’s sacrifice, get their hands dirty, and get silly with their kids. Kids need their Dad’s, regardless of if their parents are in a relationship or not. This took me awhile to fully understand, being the Ox that I am I thought “single parent” I can do that single-handedly, no problem! Uh-uh. There are important things her Dad needs to experience with her, even though we have differences nothing compares to the smile she has when she sees him, and for that I am grateful. We won’t always see eye to eye as parents, but I’ll never question if he has his daughter’s back. She knows that her Daddy loves her, even though he has a different house and another family – this is what is most important. She is very lucky to have two parents who love her and would do anything for her. To quote John Mayer, “fathers be good to your daughters.”