A guest post from my hubby, Martin, today, on what this, his 3rd Father’s Day, means to him.
Having grown up on the giving end of Father’s Day, it was quite a surprise to find myself on the receiving end for the first time a couple of years ago.
It’s not that I didn’t see it coming or anything like that – I mean, even in the brave and confusing new world of becoming a father for the first time, it’s fairly obvious that Father’s Day probably has something to do with fathers.
It’s more that I’ve never had a Day before. Yes, there are birthdays – but considering all you have to do to have one of those is be alive, it’s hardly some kind of grand honour (although the presents aren’t bad sometimes).
No, Father’s Day is about more than that, about more than marking another year of successfully not dying. To me, it’s an invitation to think about the father I’d like to be remembered as.
Thinking back on my own childhood, I’d say without question that I had (and still have) a good father. Having had just the one, of course, I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m pretty confident.
I don’t remember ever feeling unloved, unsupported or misunderstood. I recall the pride I felt when I did something dad was impressed by, the security of knowing he’d be there even if (or rather when) I made mistakes, and the trust of believing he was steering the sometimes chaotic ship containing our family through life with a steady hand.
Now a lot of that may have been down to the blind innocence and naivete of youth, but the point is that those are the things that made an impression, not the amount of pocket money I received, or the new toys at Christmas, or how successful dad was at work because of the long hours he spent at the office.
And if that’s what mattered to me as a child, that’s surely what my own children will look back on and judge me on now that I’m a father.
Children – especially young children – tend to look at their fathers as heroes, and to me that’s one of the biggest rewards fatherhood brings. But in too many cases our children grow up to realise the truth is very different, and that’s a responsibility too many fathers seem unwilling, or incapable of, facing up to.
So with today being Father’s Day, I – like many other fathers – enjoyed breakfast in bed served up by little hands, and smiled at the hand-made Father’s Day card my daughter made especially for me through the week. In other words, today I’ll celebrate being the hero. But tomorrow, and every other day of the year, it’ll be up to me and dads everywhere to prove we’re worthy of the honour.