Father’s day is Sunday, and I interviewed real-life dads to get authentic thoughts about being a father. I knew one of the men, but the others were random males I saw in restaurants or while shopping.
I asked three questions: What age are your children?; What do you enjoy most about being a father?; What do you find most challenging?
Following, using their exact words, are their spontaneous answers. After the age of their children the first response is what they most enjoyed, and the second response is what they find most challenging.
Five months: “The way she smiles at me; road trips.”
Fifteen months: “Most rewarding thing ever, and also the most challenging, and I have done a lot of challenging things in my life; Putting someone else’s needs before my own. I used to fly-fish several times a summer, and now I am lucky if I get to go once. But that’s okay because she comes first.”
Two years: “The smile on her face every time she laughs; Poopy diapers. I do it because I love her, but there is a lot of gagging in there.”
Five-year-old twins and a seven-year-old (Mr. Mom): “Learning old things that are new to them, and finding out their experiences are not my experiences; Letting them fail.”
Ten, twelve, and fourteen: “Watching them at big growth opportunities, such as school and sports. Watching them come into their own; Time. Trying to be everywhere at once such as sporting events, work, dance recitals — all the really fun things. Monday we had three baseball games. We were lucky they were all at one field.”
Twenty-one and twenty-five: “Watching their growth potential and their spiritual life; learning how to discipline.”
Twenty-two, twenty-four, twenty-eight: “Learning from my children as they get older; all the hard things are done. It was difficult when my daughter was a teenager. I wanted to take her out and give her away.”
Twenty-six: “Watching her become an adult; Trying to keep her an adult — letting her grow up and not smothering her.”
So, there you have it from eight fathers. Being a dad is rewarding, satisfying, and educational. It is also selfless, heartfelt, and challenging.
What I know for sure: Father’s are vital for the healthy development of girls and boys. Congratulations and thank you to all dads on this Father’s Day. You are valued, needed, and appreciated!
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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