Juneteenth Father's Day Solstice
It's Father's Day. This year the day is bookended by the Solstice and the first national Juneteenth holiday. We have celebrations of every kind.
If you’ve been blessed with the title of father, a hat tip and cheers to you and may your blessings be too abundant to count.
Fathers are so important that even the bad ones are influential.
Fathers get described in all kinds of ways. In the past few days, in anticipation of Father’s Day I guess, I’ve heard people describe their father to be: larger than life, the best man, the gold standard, gorgeous, kind, brilliant, and absolutely the best dad in the world (by what criteria that last claim is made I do not know). Phew. That’s a lot to live up to.
On any day of the year you can hear a father being described as an idol, a businessman, laborer, activist, respected, a good cook, a lot of fun, a drunk, modest, proud, loving, nurturer, protector, and disciplinarian.
My own father died when I was quite young. I have vivid memories of him, but I’ve been able to fill in a lot of father-daughter blanks through other fathers. My friend’s fathers were always kind to me. But I’ve gotten the most by watching my friend’s become fathers. The best fathers, in my observations, are humbled by the experience. They adapt in ways that marriage couldn’t move them. They bend, they grow kind. The best fathers don’t so much as strive to be close with their kids as they strive to know who the heck their kids are. They see their kids as unique people who they brought into this world, yet are separate. Of course they take the responsibility of parenting seriously, and they also take the responsibility for whom they send out into the world seriously. It’s a daunting task with so many variables.
It’s not always the father’s fault how the kids turn out in the end.
We need role models. Fathers are the perfect set-up for role models—as perfect and imperfect they may be. I'm grateful to have had many good examples of fatherhood. It varies in size, shape, and color. One thing that is consistent—there is love.
This weekend it's time to lead by example, by love.