Over the years, there have been many famous quotes about the responsibilities of a father. As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday, the three that speak to me the most are:
“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” (Anne Geddes);
“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” (Sigmund Freud); and
“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” (William Shakespeare)
I think these three quotes, in particular, speak to me because of who my son is. I’ve spent the better part of the last year documenting, in my blog, my son’s many struggles but I don’t think I spent enough time documenting who he is becoming. He is not special because of what he cannot do but for who he has become!
He is Special because;
- He has the ability to love which is unparalleled by anyone else I’ve ever met;
- His smile radiates a room and makes everyone around him feel better;
- He has the ability to show compassion when others wouldn’t or couldn’t;
- He can make even the most jaded of individuals fall in love with him;
- He is trusting with an unbelievable innocence because he sees the good in people;
- He is not afraid of showing affection to the people he loves;
- He is his own person and will never follow along just because everyone else does; and
- He knows what he wants.
My son is not what I expected, but the funny thing about expectations is sometimes the outcome is far better than you could ever imagine. This is what happened in my case, but because of who he is, I have also needed to redefine what it means to be his Dad. This is where the three quotes above come into play. Essentially, what I have learned from the sum of the quotes is, 1) try to get to know your child, 2) protect your child, and 3) use this information to raise your child to the best of your ability. That is easier said than done for any Dad, but I’m lucky because getting to know my son has been a gift. We wrestle together, play video games, go to amusement parks, go on hikes, go on vacations and spend as much time as possible just being together. You see, he thinks I do this for him and because of it he calls me, “the best Dad ever” but really I do it because of how special he is. I couldn’t imagine not doing these things with him.
So when my wife asks me what I want for Father’s Day I guess I should tell her she already gave me the best gift of all, my son!!!!!
Originally posted June 14, 2011