It will be Father’s Day in Australia in another week (First Sunday of September to be exact) and like many parts of the world, families, children usually with a little prompting from mom would make it a point to celebrate the occasion for dad. It is in some sense a way for the family to say “Thank you dad!” and to remember the many great memories shared as a family. Children have a knack of remembering things and they sure have way better memory than us. But sort of memories are you and I leaving behind? 10 years from now, is there anything worth remembering about you and I as a father?
I for one cannot really recall much of my dad, except that he gave us food and shelter. From childhood to adulthood, I could easily count with my ten fingers the number of times that I had the opportunity to spend more than an hour’s time with him. He was never around. I never had a man to look up to as I transitioned through my teen-age years into a young adult. I never had someone who could advise me on issues about life, about values, about aspirations, about career choices. In short, I cannot remember anything worth remembering about my dad. He felt somewhat like a stranger most times to me. It is sad, but true.
The world we live in exerts a ridiculous amount of pressure on us to make a living. For some, it will be more of a career goal that dictates much of our lives. I just patted J to sleep before writing this post and it is still something I enjoy doing even though she is already 12. As I sense her drifting into deep sleep, I just wondered ‘Have I been a better dad than my father?’. Have I avoided the traps of being an ‘unavailable’ dad?
Here are 4 questions worth asking yourself
- When was the last most enjoyable family trip in your child’s eyes?
- When was the last time the whole family had a good laugh over something silly?
- When was the last time you surprised your child with something that would make him or her really proud of having you as a dad?
- When was the last time you participated in your child’s life in school, play and home?
To all dads in Australia, Happy Father’s Day!