Gasp! That’s a tough blow to publicize just before Father’s Day. But it’s the truth.
You see kids— when you were just a twinkle in my eye and a stir in dad’s pants, we had lofty parent goals. (#parentgoals would have been our hashtag).
The dreams were simple and sweet. A perfectly happy and put together family. Mini Mom and Mini Dad — they’d walk like us and talk like us and just love us to pieces … no drama, no spills — just thrills.
We were going to be the cool parents because of course — we’d do it all right. We’d be pillars of modern-day parenting. No fighting, no contention, because — goals.
Fast forward a bit and read beTWEEN the lines. (#tweens #teens #holycrap!) Parenting is hard and your dad and I aren’t always feeling like we’re hitting our #goals. But it’s Father’s Day, so let’s keep this about him, K?
DAD IS AN IMPERFECT MAN. He tries hard and doesn’t always hit the mark. Allow me to explain…
HE YELLS. Sometimes dad yells, likely because he cares. And when he does, he later takes the time to apologize and talk things through. It may take time, but he’s reflective, honest and mature to make amends.
HE ISN’T IN THE BLEACHERS AT YOUR GAME. He’s on the court. Coaching and leading you to be your best. Forever your biggest fan.
HE COOKS BREAKFAST 'WELL DONE' (BURNT). Crackly bacon. Solid yolks. Far-too-brown waffles. His heart is in the right place — but his patience may not be. Slow and low I always say. Yet he still wakes to make your Saturday wishes come true.
HE ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT. Dad is sometimes wrong. He makes mistakes (and is man enough to own up to them).
THE BROKEN BACK DOOR AND (Lack of) ICE MAKER. We reluctantly make ice cubes 12 at a time, because three years with this fridge is too soon to hook up the water? The back door? It falls off track EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If not the screen door, it’s the handle to the glass one. But he practically built everything in our tiny kingdom (by hand)! The door and the ice (or lack thereof) serve as a subtle reminder that there’s always more to be done.
HE’S CRANKY. Because he commutes quite a distance to provide. He works hard and comes home to give us more. More attention. More love.
HE GIVES CONSEQUENCES. Because he cares. It’s easy to let everything go — the work is in guiding and teaching you to do the right thing. When you mess up, he still loves you — but he also holds you accountable for your actions.
HE DOESN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE. He engages. Draws and creates with you. Asks about your day. He wants to know more.
HE SAYS NO. To trips, to big frills, to anything lavish — because he’s saving for your future. He holds back. He’s responsible. He’s wise.
HE’S FALLEN IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. I always thought that I’d be Dad’s one and only true love. But I see the way he looks at you and cares for you. I’ve learned to share the love.
HE MAKES POOR CHOICES IN MUSIC. He just does. I’ve got no excuses for that. It’s very unfocused and is likely where your attention issues stem from.
So kids, with Father’s Day approaching, I suggest you make peace with the less-than-perfect man you call dad. Raising kids comes with a responsibility that can leave coolness and ease far out of reach. He loves you more than you can imagine, even if it does not always feel that way.
We’ll find our cool again someday. It’s likely to come back to us as you go off on your own. We’ll sit back and watch you develop your own #goals, and watch the fruits of our labor #flourish.