I was blessed to grow up with a dad that took care of his family, provided for us, made sure we had what we needed to grow into successful adults. My dad modeled parenting for me. His parenting style evolved over the years as his children got older. The reality is being married, having kids, balancing the roller coaster of life that starts out with the slow ascend arriving at the top only to descent at a rapid fire speed…there is no manual for those challenges life may bring. So what makes a father a dad and when does that metamorphose happen?
My husband’s parents divorced when he was very young, consequently he grew up in a single parent home. His mom did a fantastic job of providing a home for my husband and his sister. She not only had to be the nurturer but she had to be the disciplinarian as well. His father, as in most divorced families took the two kids on the weekends for going out to eat or seeing a movie. He was the fun parent that was not around day-to-day. My husband had a good relationship with his dad, but his father was not present in their home.
We have been married over 30 years, my husband worked two jobs when our daughters were young, so that I could be home with them. If work was scarce, he always found a way to make ends meet. His work took him to the city, 45 miles from home, yet he gave me the better vehicle to drive, he always wanted to be sure I had reliable transportation. I work across the street from our home. He did not complain about his choice to provide for us. The vehicle he drove to work everyday usually had some mechanical issue yet he never minded because he knew we had a safe car.
Our daughter moved out last year and bought her own place. She was looking at town homes and condominiums. She had one criteria and he had another. He lived in apartments during his childhood, so he had a “checklist” that only an apartment dweller would know. He had certain items that he insisted she have: Wash machine & dryer in her unit, Garage for her car, Good location and Well constructed building.
There were a few things that we needed to do for our daughter. Her dad ended up replacing her water heater, when her wash machine and dryer stopped working, he offered to split the cost as well as install the dryer for her and all the dryer duct work. He re-did all of her electrical outlets while he was replacing her water heater, he repainted the laundry room and re-tiled the floor. His gift to her as a new homeowner: small canister vacuum, tool kit, lightbulbs, flashlight, batteries, small air compressor for her car tires. He wanted her to start out with everything in working order. He’s a dad and he had a specific standard of living that was acceptable for his daughter.
Our daughters first cars were co-signed by their dad. He wanted them to establish their own credit, so that while they were living at home they would be able to take baby steps toward learning how to manage bill paying, their own finances since each daughter held down a part-time job through college, all very necessary life skills to becoming a responsible adult.
What makes a Father a Dad? Someone who sacrifices his needs for the needs of his children, who loves and supports his children in their life choices, yet knows how to balance life responsibilities with family time…that’s my husband, he is an amazing dad, he is constantly thinking about our daughter’s needs and what will be beneficial for them.
“A Father Grows into a Dad just like A Boy becomes a Man…”
Happy Father’s Day!