Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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The Most Important Men in the World

on June 20, 2010

Today is Father’s Day. Or as my husband thinks of it, just another Sunday. He’s a very humble man. He doesn’t want to make a big to-do about himself at all. Me, I like to think of it as a day to honor him and the wonderful job he does with our children. So, to make a big to-do about not just him, but fathers everywhere, I’m writing this post.

From the very beginning of life, fathers are a different force in their children’s lives. They play with them differently, showing them that it’s ok to be physical when you play. I mean how many times do you see a mother tossing her 6 month old in the air?  Their voices are deeper and the children respond a little differently to them. If I could only tell you how many times I’ve said, “Stop jumping on the couch’ with little to no effect, but along comes dad with his booming voice, saying the same thing, and they immediately snap-to and stop doing whatever they were doing! I have to admit, it’s a little frustrating. It’s like dad is my secret weapon and they know if dad’s got the ‘big voice’ on, they’d better straighten up.

Fathers are so much more important than many of them think they are. I have a feeling more than one man has thought, ‘My kid has his/her mother, he/she’ll be fine without me. I’ll just pop in whenever it’s convenient for me (read almost never) and try to keep up with my child support.” This is just such an underestimation of their value, it’s mind-boggling. so many times we read of ‘dead beat dads’ who don’t pay their child support, or just simply vanish without a second thought of the children. It really is a tragedy.

Fathers set the example for how their boys act and for their daughters in how boys, and later men, should treat them. When men are abusers, the children see that and think it is the norm, the way that men are supposed to behave and it sets them in a cycle for a lifetime of hurt, both physical and mental. Yes, I am making a generalization here, but it is based on the lives of a few of my friends whose fathers were abusers, of their mothers, or themselves, or even both. They have been married multiple times and in completely dysfunctional relationships and my theory on that is because that’s what they saw as young girls. In fact, one of my friends, whose husband was an abuser, has two sons, and because they saw their father yelling at and beating their mother, thought it was perfectly acceptable to behave that way toward her and became rebellious and nasty toward her at very young ages (before they hit their teens). I blame this on the negative actions they lived with. She also has a young daughter and I hope she doesn’t fall into the cycle of abuse because of what she lived with.

On the other hand, fathers definitely set a good example for their children as well. My father set the bar extremely high for the men who came after him in my life. he treated me with love, respect, kindness and compassion. he was devoted to us and always put our needs first. Dad always encouraged us, even if he didn’t understand what it was we wanted. He coached my soccer team when I was younger, even though he knew nothing about the sport. He unfailingly told me that I could be whatever it was I wanted to be, as long as I worked hard enough for it. 

If he ever had to discipline us, he would say,’this hurts me more than it hurts you.’ I would be thinking, ‘Are you serious? I’m the one being spanked here!” Now I understand that statement and why he would say it. He didn’t like having to do it, but I swear when I was younger, it seemed like his hand was the size of a dinner plate! Discipline for children is so important, they need and want those kind of boundaries, so dads can’t back down from that no matter how unpleasant it may be at the time.

He taught us about what it meant to have a good work ethic and really how to treat others. He believed that we are all the same on the inside and the color of a person’s skin had nothing to do with the kind of person they were. I have tried to be like him in that manner as well. Although being in the south, sometimes it’s difficult to do, there is a lot of prejudice around, but I try to follow his example as much as  I can and not judge people based solely on what they look like.

Yes, i am a card-carrying member of the ‘Daddy’s Girl Club.’  When I was little, if you tried to tell me that he hadn’t hung the moon and stars just for me, there was no way I would’ve believed you. He knew everything, could do anything, and could fix anything. He was a chiropractor because he wanted to help people, and he did. He had such an effect on his patients, they still ask me about him to this day. He was not caught up in money, he felt that people were more important and he did everything he could to help. In fact, I found an acoustic guitar in a spare bedroom of his house and asked him about it. To my knowledge he didn’t play guitar, or any musical instrument other than the radio.  He told me that he’d treated a patient who was in need and couldn’t pay, so the man gave him the guitar as payment. He was jus that kind of man.

 He was the best and I miss him terribly. You see, my parents divorced when I was 13. (talk about one jacked up teenager!) Shortly after, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He went thru the usual round of treatment surgery, chemo and radiation and declared cancer free. He drastically altered his lifestyle to give his body the strength it needed to fight the cancer. The 5 year survival rate for his kind of cancer is about 20%. That means after 5 years, only 20% of people diagnosed with that type of cancer are still alive. he beat that all to hell. He was very head strong and told me that he wa snot going to let a doctor tell him when he was supposed to die. He was an inherently positive and strong-willed person. BEcause of his strength of will, we got nearly 20 more years with him. He was able to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, and what little girl doesn’t dream about that? He was also allowed to present my diploma when I graduated college and became a chiropractor following in his footsteps. Shortly after my graduation, we got the devastating news that the cancer had returned and it was terminal. Once again that rug was pulled out from under me. We lost him three short months later. I miss him so much and tell my children about him every day.

If your father is still living, give him a big hug and tell him that you love him for all that he has done for you, because without him in your life, you would be a completely different person. I know I would. If you have children, be sure and tell your husband/baby daddy how much you appreciate him, fathers really do help shape the world.

2 responses to “The Most Important Men in the World

  1. Lisa Kelly says:

    Yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ‘Daddy’s Girl Club” too! Great post!!

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