I would lean in and kiss him on the cheek and his scruffy sideburns would rub my soft, little girl skin and even though it felt kinda funny, I din't care. I was so happy for him to be home, for the family to be all together again... for him to just be THERE.
Today in church our priest talked about how much God the Father loves us, all of His children. And it struck me SO hard that my father did the same for me, day after day, week after week, year after year. And still does. He loves me unconditionally.
The other thought I had while the priest was speaking was the fact that so many children in this world unfortunately do not know that love. And how unfair and simply sad that is to me. But then, so many do know it, like my own children. There is no doubt in their mind that their father loves them. So much.
I am not sure what it is like to be a father because I am not one. I assume the bond is somewhat different than that of the mother's because the men did not carry and birth the babies. However I am not sure that means is any less strong.
I am pretty close to my father. He is not one to talk on the phone but when we are together we have some pretty good conversations and talks. He has always been someone to celebrate my milestones and the big things in my life and someone I knew I could go to with any problem.
Back when I was in high school I got caught cheating on a Chemistry test (YES, I did, and still to this day it is one of the things I regret the most ever, yes both the cheating and getting caught!). I was so scared to tell my father. Not because I was afraid of the punishment or him yelling at me but because I knew he was going to be SO disappointed in me.
And he was, because he knew he raised me different. I don't even remember if there was a punishment. I think he knew I had put myself through the ringer enough and he was pretty certain once it was all worked out that I would never pull another stunt like that. And I didn't.
My dad and I at my high school graduation
When I think about my father and the father to my children, all I can picture is love. I see hugs and kisses and teaching and showing and back-patting and hair mussing and prideful smiles at a job well done.
I see children running to the door when they hear that truck pull up, after a long day of separation. I see joy and elation and just pure LOVE.
So here's to ALL the Father's out there who love their children like they should. Congratulations, you are making a huge difference in those kids' lives. Maybe even more than you will ever know.
And to my Dad and my Tim and his Dad and Tim's grandfather and my three brothers, thanks for all the love you give your children. Always.
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