This I Believe

Ryan - Goddard, Kansas
Entered on May 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in being a good father. I have formed this belief as a result of two phases in my life. The first phase in my life in which this belief was formed was my childhood. My own father went to work and came home every night. Emotionally though, my father just wasn’t around very much. Alcoholism, mental illness, womanizing, and abusive behavior were all factors in his life that kept him distant from me and my brothers and sister. Happy times were few and far between. I vowed many times throughout my early life that if I ever had children of my own that I would be nothing like my father.

The other major time in my life that reinforced this belief was when I became a father myself. Obviously, the day of my oldest daughter’s birth was an emotional one. I looked in her blue eyes and she wrapped her little hand around my index finger. I promised to myself that I would make sure that she would grow up always knowing that I loved her. I promised that I would do everything in my power to prevent any harm from coming to her. I also remember reiterating the promise from my childhood. I promised her that she would not suffer a childhood like my own.

Ever since that day, I’ve made good on that promise. I go to work and come home every night like my father did. However, unlike my father I rarely drink, I do not abuse my children, and I’m faithful to my children’s mother. I now have two children. I play with them every day. I bandage them up when they’re hurt, cook them dinner when they’re hungry, read to them at night, and tell them I love them every chance I get.

My father and I have since reconciled. He’s worked out all of his issues that drove me away. He’s a huge part of both of my daughter’s lives. It turns out that for all of his flaws as a father that he’s actually great at being a grandfather. Witnessing the happiness of my children in combination with the renewed relationship of my father reassures me that I am a good father and that this is the greatest thing I will ever do with my life.