Father’s Day is just days away, and this week a few Houston dads have graciously contributed their thoughts on parenting. Today, David, husband of Houston Moms Blog’s own Kathleen, reflects on the gift of a father’s presence, both past and present.
One of the gifts my father gave to my two brothers and me growing up was the knowledge that we were a priority in his life. I remember recognizing sacrifices that my dad made even as a young child. I knew that he would go to work early in the morning so that he would be home before 5:00 to spend the rest of the day with us. He was always home when he wasn’t working, and was a constant presence in all of our extracurricular activities. Whether he was coaching my little league team, teaching my brother how to play golf, or taking us fishing, we were my dad’s first priority. I felt loved and safe with my dad. I knew that I was secure in my place as his child, and that I was important to him. I knew that he put our happiness in front of his own.
I have been blessed with both a girl and a boy. My daughter Meredith is five and has just graduated kindergarten, and my son Liam is three. Thankfully, they both look like their mother. My children are happy and healthy, and I thank God for that every day. As soon as my lovely wife became pregnant with our daughter, I consciously decided that no matter what, I wanted my children to feel the same sense of love and security that I felt from my dad when I was a child. I know that I am going to make many mistakes as a father, some of them rather big, but all I can truly do is have my children’s best interest at heart and continue to try and do the next right thing for them.
I believe that some of life’s most beautiful moments are spent with both my parents and my children at the same time. Even as a 38-year-old man, I still feel the same when I’m around my dad as I did when I was young. I’ve always been able to feel God’s love for me as His child in the way that my dad supports me and is a constant presence in my life. When I watch my children interact with their grandfather, I know that they understand the love he has for them and for me as well. I like to tell them that I love them as much as “Papa” loves me and that God loves them even more, and will always be there for them. I hope that the example of a father’s love that I was blessed with from my dad will be passed on to my children, and that it will serve to help them realize just how much their Father in heaven must love them and want the best for them too.