It doesn’t take a lot to be a father, but it takes a lot to be a Dad.
Being a Dad is a choice. How he lives into that choice evolves and changes over the passage of time, but the choice remains the same: “I choose you, my child.
I choose to hold you, support you, and care for you from your very first day of life–when you still don’t even have the strength to hold your head up. I will hold it for you.
I choose you, my child, to pass on the things that I have learned so you can learn from them, too–but I will always respect that your life is your own.
I choose to spend time with you–teaching and guiding, yes…but also learning from you, laughing with you, and cherishing the tiny moments that only we share.
I choose to be patient with projects we do together–projects that would otherwise take half the time if you weren’t “helping” me. But these are the ways you learn, and these are the ways I am able to pass on a love of discovery, of building, of the satisfaction of starting something with your own hands and being proud of the results.
I choose you when I feel tired and would rather read my own book or fall into bed and go right to sleep. Because I know how much you look forward to our stories every night–that special time when we connect at the end of the day. I know that these years are fleeting and few, and that these times will leave a lasting imprint that cannot be reclaimed if I let them pass me by.
I choose to walk beside you down paths that may seem overwhelming, uncertain, or scary. I know sometimes they might not seem that way to me–but I promise to honor your feelings, because you might be seeing this path for the first time and therefore it seems very different through your eyes. I will help you along this path, reassuring you that there is nothing you need to fear when you are holding the hand of someone who loves you more than life.
I choose to support you when you are weary. I will wrap my strong arms around you and let you rest until you have the energy to face the big world again.
I choose to embrace the joy of this life with you–to be silly with you, laugh with you, imagine with you.
I choose to help you carry the burdens that seem too heavy to carry alone. Because hard things are always easier to do together.
I choose to celebrate with you–through all the moments both large and small that change and shape your life. I celebrate your journey.
I choose you, my child. For it was but a moment that made me a father–but it was a lifetime of choosing you that has made me a Dad.”
Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there–whether biological or not–who have made a lifetime of decisions, day after day, to choose the ones they love.