My own father was charismatic and very complex and thus my relationship with him has always been complex. My father was never one to ride a lawn mower or change light bulbs. Instead he shared with me a love of Leonard Cohen and Ayn Rand. He wasn't ever the grill master or straight laced father playing catch in the yard like you would see in a JC Penney catalog. He never let me dwell in the fact that I was dyslexic but instilled a life long thrist to learn and gain knowledge. I learned to love great theater, fine wine, the British House of Commons, and nice vacations. He was a passionate lawyer who taught me how to curse like a sailor and take charge. I would not be the character I am without having my dad.
He isn't perfect and sometimes growing up with him was not easy. The passion he had in his life and the hardships he held in his heart often manifested into contention and sorrow. Perhaps because of this though he has taught me most of all to endure. To not let the hardships I have faced mar my soul like they did for him. When my father had his stroke ten years ago he had sort of a rebirth. My father is now the sweetest little guy you will ever meet. While conversations are very much a struggle now I see this smart strong fighting spirit who now is very peaceful as well. In that way he has taught me peace now. We are none of us perfect people but he taught me we can all change and the importance of forgiveness. Where once I used to look at my childhood with anger, I've found a peace and it it's stead I've moved forward.
My husband's childhood was 100% different. His father had nine kids and every weekend he was outside with them mowing lawns, washing cars, and church. His dad taught my husband that fatherhood is a 24/7 job filled with service, strictness, and love. I think Chris took those lessons and magnifies them every day a thousand fold. Sometimes that is hard with my easy going personality who believes childhood should sometimes be more childlike but that is the neat part. I see our kids growing up so strongly because of how my husband and I combine our styles and work together.
He is very much the strong patriarch who plays ball in the yard and sings songs at bed time. Where my father worked "smart" my husband works both strong and hard. Building suits his personality because at the end of the day he can see all he accomplished. As a parent I don't know if he sees all he has accomplishes in our home but I do and for this Father's Day I'm grateful for all he does for us.