This I Believe

Gerard - Clermont, Florida
Entered on September 7, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood

I believe in being a father. I always wanted to be a dad mostly because my dad is the backbone of my existence. He was my tee ball coach, my soccer coach, my confidant, my best friend and yes sometimes my worse enemy. He has always been there for me when I needed him, in good times and in bad. He’s the first person I want to talk to when I have something important to say and he is the first person I look to when I need advice. When I was younger I wanted to be sturdy and stable, strong and comforting, protective and stern. Out of everything I wanted to be when I grew up, I wanted to be like him!

I now have two kids and being a father hasn’t always been what I expected. I have been through a bit of a role reversal after my son was born. I left one job for another job so my wife and I could juggle the family responsibilities but that quickly fell through and I ended up with the job of stay-at-home dad.

I am dealing with issues I have never seen my father deal with. I don’t remember him changing diapers or making lunches. I don’t remember him taking me grocery shopping or playing outside at the park. I, until this day, don’t think I have ever seen my father do a load of laundry, run the vacuum, mop the floors or do a load of dishes! I have often wondered what he does when my mom is not around! These daily chores were things that my mom did.

Everything I believe about being a Father has changed. While obviously I have taken on similar responsibilities to my mother, I find that I have redefined what it is to be a father. Being a father isn’t about making lunches or doing laundry. It isn’t about coaching soccer or being strong. It’s about being there for your children. It’s about listening as a friend and exploring the world through their eyes. It’s about guiding their curiosity and protecting their dreams. It’s about setting a responsible example they can count on and trust.

Being a father is not about what is expected of me by society but what is expected of me from my children. But above all being a father is about always being there when they need me, no matter what, in good times and in bad.

This I believe…