Before I start this, I want to preface it with the fact that I understand mothers have a huge role in a child's life as well. I also understand that there are plenty of well rounded individuals who have grown up without a father in their lives and managed to have perfectly happy existences. I applaud the moms who have taken on both parental roles for one reason or another. This is not meant to speak ill of any of these situations. It's simply me, observing the men in my life who have played large roles, noting what an effect they have. With that being said...
T and Cali
Do you realize what an impact you have on your child's life? Do you understand that when you're "flying" your baby around the front yard that you're teaching her/him trust and faith? Do you see that every time you stop what you're doing to look your child in the eye and interact with them that you're showing him/her that they're important and wanted? Do you comprehend the fact that each time you step in to take care of their needs that you're telling them they'll always have someone there for them? Do you recognize that every time you find the energy to play after a long day's work that you're telling your kids through your actions that you enjoy their company?
I hope you know.
I hope you can see what a large part you play in their development. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have conducted studies that show that fathers who are involved and nurturing with their children have higher IQs and better cognitive capacities. The larger the role that the dad plays in a child's life, the more likely it is that the child will be "emotionally secure, confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with their peers".
Dads. Do you understand what an amazing responsibility that you have been handed? "To whom much is given, much is expected". I admire those of you who take the time and effort to be an active part of your families' lives. Every time I see one of you outside playing and running around with your child, I think how lucky they are to have a dad like you. Each time I watch my own husband (who is a first time dad) step into an unfamiliar situation head first, determined to take part despite his discomfort, I think about how he's showing our daughter how to conquer her fears and take leaps of faith. Every time I think of my own father taking time out of his schedule to take my siblings and I on daddy/daughter-son dates I remember how I always knew that no matter how far I roamed, he'd be there for me when I returned.
Me and my dad
Dads, you're so very important. I know that the mother/child relationship is a daunting one to reside beside but good for you! To those that find their own place in their children's lives without shrinking back and allowing the mom to take full responsibility. Kids need a leader, decision maker, head of the household, and rescuer. That's you, dads.
It takes energy when you're all out. It takes motivation when yours is gone. It takes time that you're already pressed for. It takes patience when yours is thin. It takes laughter when the world has drained yours. It takes focus when your mind would rather be somewhere else. It takes a lot. And I'm proud of those of you who have chosen to give it all. You're making a difference.