Celebrating Fathers: Our First Heroes

Thank you, dads!

Author: Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Guest Author
Original date: June 13, 2024

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova: https://www.pexels.com/photo/father-and-child-playing-on-a-sandy-beach-at-sunset-3968119/
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Dadding isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Sometimes, we pour so much energy into our families and the many other essentials in our lives that we don’t have time every day to reflect on our impact.

So, I asked my two-year-old son for some help: maybe some youthful energy can inspire me? I asked him to reflect on the role of fatherhood and what it means to him. He replied, “Hi! Daddy do some work.”

That actually does sum it up. The challenge of fatherhood is both accomplishing necessary tasks to help keep the family’s engine running, while also being present for your family. Sometimes that balancing act is easier, though often it’s not. While the current trend of working from home is helping, for most of history, there was little to balance. Before we entered the modern world—or even the Industrial Revolution—dads were at home, working in whatever their family’s profession happened to be. Dads worked alongside sons and daughters, not to mention their wives.

With all the modern comforts we enjoy today, we don’t think much about the tradeoff: parents are often called outside of the home to make ends meet. Kids these days seem even busier with school, their own activities, sports, and friends. We dads sometimes have to steal moments to spend meaningful time with our kids, or be intentional to ensure that happens, whether it’s fun hobbies, a family dinner or a heartfelt conversation.

The challenge grows even harder when kids grow older. They enter that awkward middle school phase, where a simple conversation about how their school day went often turns into an interrogation with the child retreating to another room or into another activity.

But, as dads must, we strive to rise up and meet the challenge.

I could quote you volumes of statistics showing you how important fathers are in the lives of their children, for everything from physical health, to their emotional state. Your importance begins in the womb and lasts throughout life. But, as dads who make the effort to be present, you probably already know that.

Most of us may not be heroes of great acclaim in public, but you are the first hero your kids will ever have. This Father’s Day, for all your heroic efforts to be present in the lives of your children, you deserve recognition and sincere thanks.

Thank you to the fathers who have dedicated their lives to their children. Thank you for getting up every day and making the courageous, hopeful choice for life.