Today is an special day. It is a big day in both the UK and in the US. June 19 – third Sunday in June – is Father’s Day. It’s less obvious than it sounds. Mother’s Day takes place in March in the UK and May in the US for example. And not all countries celebrate Father’s day in June – March in Spain and May in Germany to name but two.
I have been a father for more than twenty years and have had a father for much longer than that. It is wonderful to be a father. My father is amazing.
I am a father all the time. All day…every day. I don’t often sit and reflect on what I do as a father or how well I do. It’s like most things we all do I guess…we are often just too focussed and busy ‘doing’ to contemplate or reflect. We are in the moment and the moment needs us as much as we need the moment.
I know how much I have learned – and still do learn – from my Dad. I always knew he would have an idea. It never mattered what the situation was…how complex or simple. How personal or how professional. How urgent or how relaxed. I always knew that I could rely on my dad to offer an explanation, to give me good options, to be able to help. I always knew that my dad was there for me whenever I needed it. Unconditionally.
Somehow he was always able to reassure and relax me; inspire and encourage me. Whether it was about cricket, school, home, family or life. Whatever I have achieved – everything I have done and how I have done everything – is based on what I have learned from my father. And he never set out to teach me anything. He just was who he is.
And as I sit here and reflect, you know I can’t ever remember him just telling me what to do. He probably did. I am sure he did. But he somehow managed to always do it in a way that left me thinking it was my own idea and my own decisions.
I have his values and beliefs (as well as his genes). It is inevitable. And it is wonderful. I have had very different experiences of course – and our experiences define our beliefs – but one of my defining experiences is to be his son.
Love is all encompassing and all powerful. I know that I would do anything for my children, and I know that I want to do everything for them. Always. Every day. But I also know that I can’t live their lives for them – I learned that from my dad. They don’t need me to solve every problem for them. They are inspiring. And they are defining their own lives. They are doing things I could never imagine. I feel so proud. So happy.
Once a year then I reflect. Perhaps that is what Father’s Day is all about really. Reflection is good…and is helpful.
But it’s not what Father’s Day is for. It’s not. Father’s day is a celebration. It is a day for us to feel good. About who we are, what we have become. About what we want to do next, where and how. And who with.
I don’t see my father as much as I used to…but he is with me all the time…in everything I do…just in a different way. He is there for me always…unconditionally.
I love my dad every day – not just on Father’s Day. Today is simply an opportunity for me to tell him.