Not having a father around as a child gives you a different perspective of parenting. It also directed me to adjust what I wanted to do as I created the karma of, “I will not repeat this cycle”. For so long in my twenties children were not in my future at all. I assisted in raising my brother and sister after my mother passed away when I was twenty-five. Up to that point I was the adult in the family, after I was a temporary surrogate. Parenting, on my part, was survival for the three of us and not one born of passionate au fait desires. It was getting from one day to the next everyone intact.
My childhood certainly skewed by direction. I was personally bound not to repeat my mother’s life as it was far too difficult for her and her children. As fate directed the man that I would marry stepped on to the seventh floor of the Illinois Bell Building on Randolph. He changed my perspective of what a family could be because he came from this huge FAMILIA where life was passionate and child centered. A devoted family structure, you might say. We married and had two wonderful children who are adults now.
Here is a man who loves his family and children who served as the center of his life. He couldn’t wait till they could play ball, any kind of ball. He read stories to them, took them for rides in the car when they were infants to get them to go to sleep, crawled around on the floor when they were learning to move, put all the Christmas toys together, built the Lego fortresses, paint and wallpapered their rooms, coached their teams, attended fifteen years of dance recitals, attended the parent only recorder concerts, was a camp chaperone, taught them to ride their bikes, taught them to drive, held them when they were sick, comforted them when life didn’t go particularly well, attended every game either of them participated in (when he was in town) and engaged in the lives of the young people who flowed through our doors. Even today when he sees their friends he seeks them out to catch up.
Parenting IS self-sacrifice. My husband has lovingly sacrificed for his children. We are blessed to have him in our lives. Happy Father’s Day.