What I've learned about a father's love is, it's different and unique and special with every child he has. The relationship that I have with my father is stunningly similar to my brothers' relationship with him, but at the same time, strikingly different.
With each of us, he learned, he grew, he knew what to change in rearing us, and what to keep the same. He figured out what worked and what didn't and he revised his parenting skills along the way. Being a parent now, I realize, that's what we all do.
When that child comes into your life, you're thrust into parenthood. You can read all of the books you can, you can talk to your friends, and now, you can even download apps about being a good parent, but the only real thing is doing it yourself.
Being present, getting your hands dirty (no pun intended), and allowing yourself to express and show your children just how much you love them.
I think that's the biggest hurdle; letting yourself go and loving your kiddos with all you've got. I think that's the hardest, because that's opening yourself up to an entire world of pain if something doesn't go as planned.
But, isn't that life? Taking the good with the bad. The happy and the sad. Not one of us will escape this life without some sort of hurt. It's how we deal with it and the lessons we take away what matter.
I am still trying to come to terms with many life obstacles. What made my heart smile today was hearing my coworkers telling me it made them smile to hear me laugh...across the building! To still be able to find joy in life has taken a little practice, but the happiness I feel is in direct correlation to the pain I've faced.
To hurt deeply is very sorrowful, but to understand how much love, friendship, and family can heal you, is a life lesson hard learned, but one that I would not give up easily.
So, thank you to the man, who graced me with a father's love. A man who had an desire to mold me into a better person and one who had an unyielding love for his children.