The canvas of Dad
As spring approaches, the art of new beginnings beckons and are we ready to answer that call?
We have all been looking out the window at the seemingly endless blanket of white, as soon as the sun shines for a little bit we cross our fingers and hold our breath… But alas another blanket of snow falls again. This cycle is familiar to us so we quietly except it as a matter of course. The comings and going‘s of the weather are predictable. We can take comfort in that, but sometimes they throw us a curveball and give us a warm reprieve in the middle of a bleak winter… Life, and fatherhood specifically, work exactly the same way. There is evidence of effort everywhere you look, from someone with a shovel, someone with a snowblower, or even someone with a plow truck. They all muddle through with whatever tools are available to them in whatever manner is familiar. Some people pay people to clear away the snow and some people bundle up and do it themselves. This evidence of effort is the human condition, as we move into a new season we can also decide to move into a new season with in ourselves, which is to say if so far we have not been the ideal dad there is a season and a time to decide that now is that season, now is the time. You can either put in the effort or pay for not with regret…
We are going to take a journey over the next few weeks and months to delve into both sides of this coin, which is to say examining what can happen by being present as well as by being absent in our children’s lives. This is not intended to be a person speaking from any authority apart from having two children of my own with very different experiences from each because neither of them are in the same place. This gives a unique optic because the approach to both is from the same place but in a different way, not only because of their age but also because of their station… This is not coming from a place of judgment it is coming from a place of observation, an opportunity to learn, and perhaps to teach. The best way we can tackle these things is through communication and leading by example.
When we are thinking of that place that we come into our children’s lives I would hope that it is a comfortable and positive landing platform, but if it is not this is how to start building that pillow to help ease the pain of that landing. It’s important to understand that by being absent we are creating a fundamental break in our children’s experience of the world around them, our children need to have a maternal and paternal influence in order to gain the best possible experience that both mom and dad bring to the table, and the lessons of each of their influences overtime. There is something about being a dad that there is no substitute for, and it doesn’t mean that you must be a superhero or have all the answers or what have you but it does mean that you are present, with all of your flaws and shortcomings. Our kids just need consistency in order to build trust as well as a framework to the path that they will ultimately take and how they will treat the people they come across while walking along that path. Dad tends to be a little more disciplinary, a little bit more stern, a little bit more… Well… Dad. No template is wrong, whatever it looks like through your optic is what you make the best of, or start fresh, or continue as best you can. Dad doesn’t always have to be the breadwinner, doesn’t always have to be the rule maker, doesn’t have to be a pillar. Dad can be the housecleaner, the clothes washer, and the cook… Whatever it takes to just be an influence in a positive presence in your children’s lives is all it really takes to be dad, of course there are other things but let’s just start with the simplest. So as we look outside of that big white canvas in anticipation of all of the colors that spring gives us, let us take a collective deep breath and take this opportunity to make a fresh start in the beginning of what will prove to be a hugely rewarding gift to both ourselves and most importantly our kids. Spring is the season of renewal as well as growth, so let’s march forward in the season together as we learn, explore, teach, and guide each other to giving our children a role model that we can all be proud of. Let’s take that white canvas of the bleak cold and create a masterpiece to the best of our experience and our ability. Spring is the time to start over and start fresh, if you were looking for a reason or a sign… This is it!! (::)