This weekend is Father’s Day which means at some point before or during that day I find myself reflecting about my current scorecard as a dad. I don’t just keep score on Father’s Day, it’s sort of a monthly thing, but Father’s Day is my fiscal year end, my New Years celebration of sorts. It’s pretty easy to beat myself up during these year-end audits. Being a dad is tricky business. A constant balancing act of quality time with my family and providing. After my first daughter was born I told myself that nothing would ever keep me from focusing 100% on my kids. I honestly thought that money or prestige would never be able to divert my attention from my kids.
There’s no such thing as the perfect dad!
The important part of these hiccups we experience as fathers is that we learn from them. We are always going to make mistakes and we shouldn’t be afraid to admit these mistakes with our kids. This last week I was throwing an adult tantrum in front of my oldest son over a house project. After a slight pause in my bantering, my oldest son put his hand on my shoulder and politely told me to calm down. I looked into his eyes, embarrassed and wavering between deeper frustration or apology. I was thankfully able to recognize this defining moment and I broke down. I quietly explained my frustration and apologized for how I acted. I admitted my mistake and my son lovingly offered up his help with the chore and we finished the rest of night talking.
Currently, I’m sitting here sifting through folders of images from my “Fathers Day fiscal year” regaining my fatherly confidence as I witness the smiles from birthday parties, baptisms, camping trips and other shining moments of fatherhood. These are the things that make me smile. These are the memories that help me recognize that I’m doing okay as a dad. These are the smiles that help me know that my children understand that I’m not perfect but that I’m doing my best.