I knew I wanted to write something for Father’s Day, but I couldn’t quite figure out what before the holiday. As much as I love my Dad, and miss him terribly always, I didn’t want to go back to that well for my essay, not this time. Instead of focusing on melancholy, I want to celebrate the joy of this amazing blessing that is being a father.
I always knew I wanted to be a father, from the time I was in my teens. Obviously, at that point, I had no idea it would take almost thirty years before my wish would become a reality but had you told me back then, it wouldn’t have made any difference: I wanted to be a father. It had nothing to do with the whole keeping the family name alive patriarchy crap (my last name is Perez, and as of the 2010 Census there are over 600,000 people with my last name in the US, so it ain’t going away any time soon), although I don’t know I could’ve told you why back then.
I love being a father. It is trying as heck, yes, especially as my daughter grows as begins to assert herself, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love that my life isn’t just about me anymore, that my heart lives outside my body running around without a diaper and yelling “I’m naked!” after bathtime. I love that I have learned that I had no idea what love truly was until I saw this little child come out of her mom. I love that when I have a terrible day at work one little hug from my daughter makes it all alright.
Why did I want to be a father? Because I knew that life was never just about me. Just like we know what love is because God loved us first, we inherently know the joy of parenthood because we are all God’s children and because He sent His son to us. Being a father doesn’t diminish me as a person, it actually completes me, enhances me. Yes, I have a little two-year-old boss, but my life is better for it because in becoming a father I learned the full meaning of love, unconditional and total love.
Yes, there’s something selfish about wanting to be a parent, I won’t deny it, but I also don’t have a problem with it. My daughters will be my legacy to this world just as I am my parent’s legacy, and so on, and with God’s help it’ll be for the better. I am so thankful for the blessing of being a father, and I thank my Dad, my uncle, and my grandfather for their love, guidance, and lessons.