Reflecting On Being A Father

Today is Father’s Day- a time to celebrate dad. My kids are in their late teens, so it feels different these days than in the past. The two youngest wished me a Happy Father’s Day and my son made me a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. I am aware that as they grow older, gift giving is not the same as it once was. Just being acknowledged these days is the best feeling. I still do my best to help guide them through life, even when it becomes difficult to handle their strong opinions and personalities.

Some previous gifts from my kids.

I have saved every hand made and store bought gifts that my kids have given me over the years. From cards to ceramics; paintings to pens- they had put forth effort in thinking about me as a father and shared them with me. Chances are my kids won’t read my blog, but if they do- they’ll know how important those trinkets and words still mean to me.

Facebook also shares memories with me on a regular basis. We had many good times as a family doing everything from the mundane to traveling to other countries. I love looking back on our time together and seeing how much they have all changed over the years. I’m always proud of what they have done and who they are becoming as adults.

My Father and I.

Sometimes I wish my father were around to see how amazing these kids are. I often wonder if he was proud of me before he passed away. I’ll never know. What I do know is that we had a tough time sharing feelings and I didn’t always have fond memories of him. Towards the end of his life, he and I were civil to one another. But I was already past trying to make amends. Maybe it could have happened over these last 20 years since he died, but all I can do is try and remember the good times.

As my kids grow older and move on with their lives, I hope to be able to have a healthy adult relationship with each of them. I really enjoyed their company as babies, toddlers, kids, and yes- even as teens. Being a father isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to be the bad guy. But I hope that all of good memories will stay front and center as my kids continue to grow up.

I love them all immensely. I couldn’t be happier for the way they love me back- each in their own way. Even if we don’t always see eye to eye or have a perfect relationship- I’ll always be here for them. That’s what a Father does.

Father’s Day Night

With yesterday being Father’s Day, my children gave me gifts that reminded me that I’m a father. However, it was a very bipolar type of evening.

I arrived home to see my teenage daughters making homemade pasta for dinner. The kitchen was a mess and flour was everywhere. They were stumbling over each other trying to make dinner. During this, my son had retreated to his bedroom to hide.

For the rest of the evening, there was snarky attitudes going back and forth between all three kids and my wife. As they spoke to me, their tunes would change. They were each doing their best to show me kindness, but at a cost of being somewhat negative towards one another.

After dinner, the kids brought out the gifts that they had made for me. None of the gifts surprised me, as they were exactly what I was expecting. A Lego creation from my son (of my Nissan Rogue), some painted wood carvings from my middle and a painting from my oldest. I appreciate each gift as the kids showed off how proud they are of what they made.

We ended the night watching Robocop from 1987 just because I hadn’t seen the film in ages and wanted something to watch that the kids had never seen before. After the film, it was off to bed and sleep took over.

All in all a typical night, I even got a few gifts from it. It didn’t upset me that there was a bit of animosity between my family members. In actuality it reminded me of how normal we all are; and not everything is perfect no matter how much we try and showcase our lives on social media.

Father’s Day 2020

I’ve been a father for nearly 18 years now. In the grand scheme of things, I think I’ve done an okay job of raising three kids. Obviously I could not, and did not, do it on my own.

Without my wife; aka mother to our children; there really wouldn’t be a Father’s Day for me. She and I have worked together over the years to create a loving environment for our three beasts kids.

To be completely honest, I don’t know if I was ever going to be ready to be a dad without her pushing me. I’m glad to have taken on the challenge and the role. Our children are my pride and joy. I will always be there for them in whatever form they need me.

I was never close with my father. I’d like to think I have become the father I always wanted. The kind of father who goes on vacations, jokes with their kids, has family movie nights, even loses at video games to them. I have shown love and support through all of their endeavors, be it Cheerleading, Speed Skating, and the arts- no matter what they wanted to do, I was there.

Certainly there were times when they wanted to give up. But my wife and I pushed them and guided them through those hurdles. It’s not always fun and laughs when you have to be the bad guy either. In time, I’m sure they will understand why and when we needed to be strict with them.

For now, I’m just glad to be celebrated as their Father. I have a drawer full of handmade cards and gifts from over the years. I cherish those moments and memories.

I’ll always remember them as my kids, even as they enter adulthood.

Cards From Kids

I didn’t mention much about my Father’s Day this year. Mostly I was feeling kinda down. I also had to work the night shift that day, so my family left me alone to sleep. However, they didn’t forget about me.

Our two youngest (ages 13 & 15) each made a card for me. They wrote what they felt and it made me happy. My son gave me a gift card and my daughter made a painting for me.

My oldest daughter didn’t do anything like that for me. She brought me a cup of coffee in bed and briskly wished me a “Happy Father’s Day” before rushing off to her job. I still appreciated the sentiment because I am doing my best to treat her as an adult. So her and I talk respectfully to one another.

I know my kids love me. They know I love them as well. I put them before anyone or anything else.

Rocking “The Dad Look”

Today I am going out into the world as a fashion model for fathers around the globe. I am showing off “The Dad Look” by just being me. Let us break this look down, shall we?

First note is of the entire ensemble. Light tones with a dark belt and the hair parted to the side. Use of hair spray recommended to keep this aspect of the look in place. Day old facial hair scruff and a slight gut says to the world, “It’s my weekend. Time to unwind standing by the barbecue or on the golf course.”

Let’s take an even closer look at the clothes and accessories that complete the perfect “Dad Look” for 2018:

Take note of the lovely diamond earrings. These symbolize the freedom of your lost youth and the yesteryears’ spending of money on oneself prior to having children. This was probably the last time you could Treat yo’ self without guilt setting in. It’s also good to note that Diamonds really are forever, since you’ve been wearing them regularly for at least a decade now. Their sparkle is fading as well since you don’t clean them as much as you once did.

Next we need to add a splash of cool while sticking to a budget.

For the perfect outfit, you need to hit up the local VV Boutique (aka Value Village Thrift Store). Purchase for yourself a brand new short sleeved, button up, baby blue and light yellow plaid shirt and a pair of linen pants (both with original store tags on) that were clearly donated with you in mind. This will keep a Dad looking unimposing and unattractive to all women while on the school grounds or park. Should another father appear, you will be easy to bond with them because they should be wearing a similar fashion.

What better way to accessorize the shirt and pants than with a pair of blue tinted sunglasses you got for free with a cheap bottle of vodka? Remember to keep them hanging off your breast pocket because those glasses sit crooked on your face- and it’s so much better to squint at the sun than have your head look lopsided.

To finish off the proper “Dad Look” of 2018, you need to show off your fun side. Here’s where you add the Mickey Mouse watch that you got from a previous trip to Disneyland with the family. All those fun memories come flooding back as you check the time throughout your day.

This is what it means to be a Dad- so you may as well rock the look all summer.

Of course later in the summer you will need to break out the cargo shorts and knock-off Birkenstock sandals (wearing optional white socks are permitted). So stay fashionable old man!

Have a great Father’s Day!

Father’s Day 

I’m always writing about my kids.  They’re pretty fantastic little humans.  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to celebrate today as a father.  (Go figure.)  Instead of blathering on about my children (again) I’d like to share a single story about my father today.

My father and I.

My father was a hard worker.  He put in long hours at the office, and in his free time he went golfing.  He was transferred from city to city- so he uprooted his family every few years.  Providing an income and a home for his wife and kids was about the extent of his fatherly duties.  In his mind, that was his only responsibilities when it came to raising my sister and I.


Years ago, we lived in Edmonton near a couple of large dirt hills.  In the winter, the neighborhood kids would drag their sleds over and we spent hours speeding down the hills.  In the summer, we spent hours riding our BMX bikes down.  

I was five years old the first summer we lived there.  A group of us walked our bikes to the top of the hill.  The other kids took turns riding down.  That side of the dirt hill had a smooth, gradual slope.  Each of them went a couple of times before realizing I was still at the top with my bike.  I stood with my bike between my legs and was terrified to try riding down the hill.  Then the peer pressure and taunting began.  

I started to walk backwards with my bike wishing to crawl into a corner.  I wasn’t ready to be a daredevil and race down that hill.  I was so scared, I just wanted to go home.  I was still walking backwards and turned away from the other boys quickly.  Soon I was heading straight down the backside of the dirt hill.  My feet dragged behind me trying to slow myself down.  I gripped the handlebars with all my might and tried to steer.  About halfway down- I lost control.

The bottom of the hill hit me fast.  Bloody and bruised, I picked up my bike and hobbled towards my backyard.  From the top of the hill the other kids were screaming out my name, but I didn’t turn around.  My goal was to get home.  I needed my mommy. I was nearly at our gate when my father burst out of the kitchen and down the porch stairs.  I saw him and that’s when I began to cry.  I dropped my bike and ran to him with my arms spread out.

I’d love to tell you that he lifted me up and hugged me.  That he held me tight and whispered that everything was ok.  It would be a fantastic end to a horrible experience for a battered and bruised child.  I’m crying as I write this- because that never happened.

He grabbed my little arm with great force and spun me around throwing me back at my bike.  He made me pick up the bike. He grabbed my arm again and dragged me and the bike back to our home.  As I sobbed he hurled insults at me.  I struggled to break free from his hand, but his grip was firm.  We got to our home and he finally let me go. I ran and hid in the bathroom, terrified of what would happen next.  An eternity must have passed.  I finally gained control over my breathing and looked at myself in the mirror.  Fat lip and bruises on my cheek.  All covered in a mix of blood, dirt and the tears of a scared little boy.  Thanks dad for being there.

To this day, I refer to my dad as an asshole, because that’s how I remember him.  Everyone else thought he was the funniest, nicest guy around.  He was dark and regretted having children.  Trust me- he told me enough times.  

My father gave me a name.

He died before I married and had children of my own.  From his parenting, I take from him many things.  Like how to cook, do home repairs, and drink beer.  From his lack of parenting skills I vowed to be there 100% for my children.  I made promises to never miss a birthday or a special event.  Work would never come between me and watching my children succeed.  Anger would never keep me from pausing for a moment to listen to my children and hug them when they need it.  

In my eyes- I’m the better father than he ever could have been.  He’s been dead for over fifteen years.  But the memories of a frightened child, thirty five years ago, will never forget him.