In just a few short days we have the chance to celebrate the fathers in our lives. Most times we only think of the man who we share our DNA with as our Dad. While sharing familial characteristics is the main way we recognize fathers, what makes someone a Dad?
From the time we are little, Dads are our living protectors and heroes. From the scariest of monsters hiding underneath our beds to throwing us on their shoulders during a long walk at a theme park.
As we get a little older, they are our source of comfort and possibly a little embarrassment. Dad jokes, anyone? They can say some of the funniest and most ridiculous things while somehow still being the guy we want to wrap us up into huge bear hugs.
Next, we hit our teenage years. Dads become our teachers, confidants, and our safe place to land. They teach us how to check our oil, how to shoot a 2-pointer and how to drive. They are the person we turn to in confidence knowing they help us learn how to navigate new friendships and listen when we tell them about our uncertainties for situations about to arise. And when we get in trouble, feel unsafe or need a soft place to land, there they are.
Then we leave home. We think we know everything! And then, WHAM! Something happens and while our world may be falling apart, we notice a familiar shadow standing right beside us, ready to step in (but only if we need it). At this point we realize how important all of their teachings during our growing years have been and we begin to listen more carefully. Their knowledge and opinions become tools we use as our compass, through the winding roads in our lives.
If you are really lucky, your father fits into all of the roles of ‘Dad’. But we realize there are those of us who can only imagine what a Dad would have been like or think of what they would be doing today if they were still here with us. As we approach this holiday, it becomes clear how much we miss those who can’t be with us.
As you’ve been reading this, you have probably had your Dad and many individuals come into mind for each of these situations. For this reason, we challenge you today to think of those people in your life that have helped you in ways a Dad would and let them know how important that was to you.
To do that, we ask you this: Who are the ones you thought of when reading this article? Did you think of a coach, uncle, stepfather… or possibly a mother, grandfather, older brother? Each of the people you thought of needs to hear how much they impacted your life. Let them know how they helped you, what they taught you and how grateful you are that when you needed them, they were there.
Dads may come in many different forms but this is our day of the year to let them all know how incredible they are. Tell whomever it is whatever is in your heart – don’t shy away from it. Tell your Father, coach, uncle, grandfather, anyone! Use the written word to leave a lasting impression on those who helped you become the person you are today. Don’t let this chance pass you by.