My girls have taken me to the hard fundamental “why” questions that I never gave myself permission to ask. When I was a child, I didn’t ask those kind of questions because I needed to be accepted, to fit in. Whatever it took to “fit in the box”. When I became an adult, I stayed in my comfort zone; busy with learning how to make a living, and I still didn’t ask “those questions”. It was enough to assimilate to the group’s beliefs.
One by one, my ladies entered teenagerhood and pushed back hard on my box of beliefs. They were asking me the hard questions like: What do we believe? Why do we believe that? How do we know we are right? How can a loving God…? Oh boy! I was suddenly faced with the questions that I had ignored and pushed down deep inside me, except it wasn’t just about me anymore. It was the ones I love more than life itself. My love was bigger than my discomfort and I started searching for answers for them… encouraging them to ask the questions… and allowing my long-held beliefs to be put to the test. Some of my beliefs have come through unscathed, some have been discarded as somewhat less than true, others as lies. The jury is still out on the lion’s share of them. For every answer I get, there are usually three or more new questions that come with it… but I keep asking. And the asking is rich even when I don’t get the answers. It’s ok to be honest about that.
No one knows you like family. And it is not a given that you will be loved in spite of yourself… and yet that is where I find myself; loved in spite of my shortcomings. Thank you for pushing me. Thank you for loving me in spite of me. Thank you for hugging me and telling me that I am a good dad. I need that. (That feels very vulnerable to write. Will I have the courage to post it on the web?). Thank you for showing me that I don’t have to have all the answers in order to be a good dad.
I am a blessed and thankful man today because I am so proud to be your dad. Happy Fathers Day to me!