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Father’s Day Reflections

fathers day Victoria BCSo here we are. Another Father’s day approaches. I know Mom’s rule the world and we wouldn’t be anywhere (or even here) without them but… Father’s day  has a little different feeling about it. Ya, Ya  I know your saying to yourself, He’s a father so of course he feels that way. Perhaps, but I think there’s more to it. I think mother’s day is rightfully about celebrating and thanking mother’s for their caring, their nurturing and giving us life. Science tells us there’s a special bond between a mother and child and I tend to agree. For a father that relationship is something to a certain extent that must be created. Of course father’s can be nurturing and have a bond to our children but scientifically mom’s the word. So Father’s day is a real privilege, an honor. This is just my opinion but let me elaborate…

When my daughter was just a baby, a toddler, my wife would celebrate father’s day by giving me a card, a gift on behalf of our little one. She certainly didn’t treat me any different on father’s day prior to us having a child. But now, for that one day she (my wife) would treat me a little extra special. Why? I wasn’t her father and our baby had no idea what was going on.  To me this was special and meant alot as I took the gesture to mean that my wife was grateful that I was there sharing in the wonders of bringing up our child. She was acknowledging me as a partner in bringing our beautiful gift into this world. Forgetting the fact of all the pain she went through in child birth and the extra work she had taking care of a baby as I went off to work. Pretty cool huh. Did she have to treat me special for father’s day? I don’t think so. What I think is that I was pretty lucky that my bride wanted to thank me for being a father.

“reflect on what it means to be a father”

Now as my daughter has grown from a little girl into a young lady, she is the primary for celebrating or focusing on dad this one day a year. Mom might help out a bit but the gifts come from my daughter directly (love those home made ones – my office is plastered with them). My job means I’m not around as much as her mother and even when around can sometimes be focused on things I have to do around the house, or heaven forbid more job related stuff… no lectures here please (learned that line from my Father’s day is not about being “pampered” for a day as cool as that is. it’s a great chance to reflect on how wonderful it is to be a dad. Reflect on all the fun and cool things we’ve done with our kids, a chance to look back and review perhaps what we could have done different or better. A chance to be reminded just what it means, what it IS to be a father.

Lately I’ve really started noticing that my daughters friends refer to me as her dad. Yes I’ve always been her dad but now they mention it. They’ve noticed me in my role! How cool. One of her friends asked for my help the other day fixing his bike which broke down near our place. What an opportunity to take my “fathering” skills and come to the rescue of one of her playmates… OK, it took me 30 seconds to fix the chain so I won’t qualify for the Order of Canada but still, I had the chance to help out my daughters friend. Probably wouldn’t have happened had I not been HER dad. I’d be a stranger to him.

Fathers day Anne-Marie and Dad being SillyAs my daughter grows into the beautiful young lady that she is, life seems to get more serious for her, our communications become more sensitive and sometimes challenging. “You have no idea dad. You’ve never been there dad.  Things are different today dad”.  Although she has a hard time understanding that I was indeed a teenager at one time (not born old as she sometimes says…lol) and went through much of what she is now, she may also have a point that perhaps some things have changed. This is where I refer to my original point. The bond between my child and myself in large part depends on how I handle fatherhood. How I perceive my role as her guide, her protector, her role model and even her sergeant at arms when required.

Although paying strict attention to these things is something we should do everyday, life happens, emotions and reactions occur. I think father’s day is the opportunity for all us dads to take a breath, reflect, review and take time to talk with our kids and focus on our relationship moving forward. Father’s day is the chance for us to celebrate our children and treat them a little special too!

of course I admit I still look forward to not having to mow the lawn, getting breakfast made for me and opening the really cool present from my daughter. I hope you all enjoy your Father’s day.

John Espley

Father and lucky to work for a Family run Business