Pattison's Perspectives

Wishing I was half the dad my kids thought I was.

imageToday we celebrate fathers. Today my family celebrates me. Today will be bittersweet.

Firstly, I had no father to celebrate when I was a wee lad.

Young boys growing up without a dad miss out on so many experiences that contribute to a healthy upbringing. I was no exception.

And what makes it harder to accept is that it didn’t have to be that way; he chose for it to be that way. All these years later I still bear that scar. It’s a wound that time has never healed and the weight of which my own wife and children have no idea that I carry.

Secondly, for me this day shines a light on my failures as a father, laying them bare and raw.

Today I will receive accolades and handmade cards with misspelled words telling me I’m the best dad in the world. But the truth is, I know I’m not . . . not even close . . . and that pains me terribly.

So today, while my family showers me with flowery platitudes, I will be troubled inside. I will be wishing I could be a better father and husband, and wondering if I would have been, if only my dad had stuck around to be that example.

Today, more than any other, I will be reminded that if I was half the dad my kids thought I was, I’d be doing all right.

For everyone else . . . Happy Father’s Day.