Hello Friends, welcome back to the Dear Tiffany podcast and DearTiff.com. As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, I thought it would be a great time to pay tribute to the many great dads out there.
The approach of Father’s Day comes with mixed emotion for me, and perhaps for my Dad as well. We didn’t have the usual daughter-dad experience…but then again, so many of us are in that boat these days really, aren’t we??? With today’s modern family, we have parents and step-parents and families are made up of many different scenarios. Some families have two moms, some families have two dads, some families have just mom, some have just dad. So, we all have our own story and it has likely been a big part of what makes us who we are.
My memories of my Dad from when I was a very little girl were that of a superhero. He was always just larger than life. He is after all 6’ 4” tall and was a dashing, dark-haired, bodybuilder with a black-belt in martial arts, and in my mind was the coolest and most amazing Dad in the world. I used to tell all of my friends about him. And when we moved in with my stepfather when I was about 6-years-old, I didn’t see my father again until my 11th birthday. So, for about 5 years, all I had were my memories of my superhero dad to tell my friends about and to think about while I put up with a real piece of work as a stepfather who was abusive and very toxic. I would brag to my friends about how great my “real dad” was and tell them stories about him and just try my best to deal with the realities of living with my stepfather. I was really just always proud of my dad.
The day I found out I was going to see my dad in Florida for my 11th birthday for the first time in 5 years; I was over the moon. And our reunion was wonderful. I was so happy and stayed with him and my stepmom for a week. We saw my grandparents and I had a wonderful trip. That was in November. The following summer, I went back to visit for a month and it was a bit more difficult. We realized that we didn’t really know each other and we had lost so much time together, that our relationship had really suffered. I think there was even some built up resentment perhaps on both sides feeling that somehow the other person had chosen for the situation to be that way…which couldn’t be further from the truth. But that’s the funny thing with feelings; they aren’t always rational.
That strain on our relationship was evident for many years after but in recent years, we have become much closer and it has been a wonderful opportunity to “get past our past” and connect in a better way. I love you Dad and I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day!
My mum also gets a huge shout out at Father’s Day as she was mum and dad for most of my life being a single mom, raising my sister and I on her own for much of the time. That is not an easy task for anyone and she did so while still going back to school in her forties, graduating with honours, and becoming a very well respected family lawyer. All of the single mom’s and dad’s out there deserve so much credit for the added responsibility of managing things on their own and making it work.
My mum cares for us and always makes us feel like we can accomplish anything in this world. I learned so many wonderful traits from my mum, like tenacity and empathy (perhaps too much so at times as we both tend to take on the world’s troubles much of the time). And I also learned to believe in myself and my abilities, beyond someone else’s condemnation. One of my mum’s favourite latin sayings has always been, “Illegitimi non carborundum”, which translates into, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” Words to live by for sure! So Happy Father’s Day to you too Mum!
Fathers (well, parents in general), have a tremendous amount of responsibility…if they choose to take it on properly that is. They also have a tremendous amount of power. From the time a child is born, parents have the power to, by a great extent, control so much of what goes into creating the growth of that little being into whatever they are to become. Some will choose to take this responsibility as seriously as it should be taken, and others sadly never will. However, the hope is that each little person will have someone in their lives who will fill that role and guide them into adulthood with the love, caring and support that one needs to become a great, successful, contributing member of society.
One of the worst things we can do as a parent is quash our children’s spirit. Parents have an enormous impact on the psyche of their children. After all, whose opinion matters more to a person than their parents? Who do they look up to most? We need to take that duty very seriously and never forget that our words carry great weight and influence over the minds and wellbeing of our kids. Sometimes even the smallest thing that we say can stick with them in a major way. So, be very careful as your words can pack quite a punch in a good or a bad way.
I would also like to pay tribute to my son’s father, Lloyd for Father’s Day. Grayson absolutely adores his father and Lloyd certainly loves being a father. Their bond is so strong and wonderful and Grayson cherishes his time that he spends with his Dad. Lloyd works very hard but always loves spending his free time being Dad. That is his most favourite!
And Lloyd didn’t have it easy growing up either. He too had a less than stellar stepfather and it affected his relationship with his father as well. But instead of letting this taint his parenting, he made the decision to do the opposite and try to be the best Dad he can be for Grayson. This doesn’t mean that it is always going to be easy, or that we are always going to know the right things to do in a situation, but it means that you are taking the right steps towards making the right decisions in the best interest of your child.
We have always been very lucky and parented very well together. Even when we have had other challenges, we have always known how to put Grayson first and make decisions about Grayson together in a positive and caring way. And that is the best way to go about parenting together in any relationship situation. No matter what else is happening, your children need you to be on the same page and parent in a cohesive manner. So Lloyd, on behalf of Grayson and I, Happy Father’s Day to you and you are loved so very much for being such a great dad!
I don’t want to miss out on Granddads and Godfathers as well. They play such a wonderful role in a child’s life too. This is where kids can find their unconditional love and support and, of course, get spoiled with love and affection (and lots of presents sometimes too). Grayson enjoys great conversations with his Granddad on FaceTime and his relationship with his Godfather, Scott, has been the next closest relationship to Lloyd and I that he has ever had since he was born. He adores Scott and knows that he can count on him to be there always for love and support.
So, with all this being said, I wish all of you “Dads” out there, in whatever form you come in, a wonderful and very Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy the day with your kids and savour these wonderful moments together as a family because they go by so quick. Take lots of pictures, enjoy every smile, roll around on the floor with laughter and be very proud of yourself for being there!
I would love to hear your stories, so please reach out to me on DearTiff.com and send me your comments, questions and ideas.Much love to you all friends and Happy Father’s Day! XOXOX.