I am a father who loves my children very much. I am so glad to have been a part of bringing these children into the world. I am so proud of every moment of growth that I have seen in my babies.
From the moment that their mom gave birth to them, I was excited to see how they would grow and who they would be when they grew up. Even as they grew older, I always thought of them as my babies. My little girls will always be my little princesses and my sons will always be my princes. I knew that they would make mistakes as they grew up, but I knew that it was my job to teach them and show them how to live. I knew that they would need my protection and my guidance. I knew that I would always love them and want the best for them. I wanted us to always be close and to be able to talk about every concern that they would ever have.
I loved the innocence of their childhood when they were ignorant of all the consequences of their actions and they laughed and played with all that they were. They fell when they were learning to walk but they got right back up and kept trying, trusting me and their mom to help them up again without question. Eventually, they were running and they began to touch and feel and taste everything. Every moment was a learning adventure. They learned so much, so fast. I had to keep an eye on them and make sure that no one was around that could hurt them. I made things as safe as I could for them. I wanted to protect them so that they could grow strong. There are dangers everywhere in this world and I knew that as they came in contact with certain things that I would need to be there for them and teach them how to get past those things or avoid them.
So many times, when my babies were young, we would run into a problem. One would forget not to touch the hot stove, one would run too fast down the hill, or one would forget the rules about putting away their toys and end up stepping on a Lego. Each of these times I would be there to wipe away their tears, clean up their booboo, and put healing ointment and a bandage on it. It made me smile to be able to calm them and hold them and ease their fears. I would gently remind them to be careful and how to take care in these situations. I would remind them of the rules if I needed to. I would remind them of my love and tell them how much they were growing. I loved to see them feel like they were learning and growing up when I encouraged them. I loved seeing them become more self-reliant and self-assured as they leaned on me and learned from me. I cherished seeing them put their spin on things and succeed.
As my children grew older, we ran into different problems. One child would have a friend choose to end their friendship and we would soothe hurt feelings and explain that some friendships are only for a season. We would talk about cherishing the moments that we have with our friends and that sometimes it is time to let go and make new friends. Another child would choose to lie about a mistake and try to cover it up rather than face the truth. We would then talk about taking responsibility for our mistakes and face them so that we could learn from them and become more mature. We would talk about how me and their mom would always love them and there is no reason to lie to us. We just want what is best for them. We would explain to our children that they never need to hide anything from us because we will only try to guide them in the way that will help them the most. Another child would have a little trouble in school and we would encourage her to keep doing her best. We would let her know that we expected wonderful things from her and the she was going to be able to overcome any difficulties if she would just keep trying. We would assure her that we would be right there with her to help her and cheer her on.
My children are such a joy to me. Even though they often need guidance and correction, the love that I have for them overcomes any frustration that goes along with being a parent. The joy of seeing them succeed when they put into practice what I try to teach them is something that fills me up and overflows and pours back into our relationship. I love to give them gifts and things that they love. I especially like to give them gifts that will help them do positive things like sharing them with others. Even something small like bubbles, when they were little, was so enjoyable because they would take turns blowing the bubbles and the other would run after them to pop them. They would laugh and so would I. It was a joy to see them having fun together.
Yes, the joy of being a father outweighs the frustration that comes with the guiding and the correcting of them. With the guiding and correcting comes the growth and maturity that they need to be happy and well-adjusted adults. With them becoming adults comes another whole new aspect of being a father, one in which we can be more like good friends who share life together. I will always be there to listen and to advise and to rejoice in every success. I will always be there to lend a shoulder to cry on and a hug to mend a heart. I will always be there to bounce off ideas and to give a different perspective if they want it. I will never stop loving my children. I will always want to be there for them in any way that they need. Yes, even if they need to be rescued from a situation from time to time, I will be there. After all, these are my children, the ones that I and their mom made together. They are a testimony to our love. They are my legacy and my pride and joy. They are mine and I am theirs. Our love will go on and on. It is my greatest hope that they will always know these things and keep them in their hearts as they grow.
Written by Angela Dingler © 2017