I grew up without knowing my dad. My mom said he was in the marines, and that he was always somewhere doing his duties to the country. I looked up to him and even dreamed of becoming a soldier myself. I missed him, and every birthday that he wasn’t there, I was less of a person. My mom would always come up with excuses just to stop me from crying.
On my 14th birthday, I realized I would never really see him, and if he wanted to come home, he would already have, but he never did. I found out that my dad was first a dad to a boy named Bryce, my brother. My mom was never really his wife, and he just got her pregnant with me.
I spent my teenage years wondering how it would be like having someone to call dad. I would have wanted someone to look up to and inspire me to be the best man that I could be. It’s not that I don’t get that from my mom. I love her to the moon and back, but it’s just that having a dad is different, especially that I am to be a man. I would have learned so much from him, or maybe I would have pursued being a soldier as I would imagine him encouraging me.
Making a commitment to be a father can lead to altering core meaning that existed previously. In accepting this role, the man is changing what he sees as important. — The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMF
I am now 24 and a father myself. I have a son, and I named him after me, Dylan Jr. The reason why I wanted to call him that is because I wish to watch a Dylan grow up with a father. I wanted to see myself, only this time how I wanted it to be for me when I was a kid. As sad as it was growing up without a dad, I think it made me become a better person. It made me want to be desperately there for my son because I don’t want him to grow up as I did. This time I wanted it to be special for him.
Things I Do With Dylan That My Dad Never Got To Do With Me:
- I play video games with Dylan. I love it when he boasts to his friends how good his dad is.
- I bring him to his baseball game. He looks at me whenever he’s about to swing.
- He tells me about this bully in class, and I ask him to hold his cool as long as the bully is not hurting anyone, but when he does, daddy got his back.
Remembering that children appreciate quality over quantity may help you focus how to spend the time. They simply want to be with you and have your attention. — Andra Brosh, PhD
- He tells me about this pretty girl in class, and I remind him to take his time. It’s okay to have a crush, but never rush.
- We team up to make fun of his mom whenever she cooks, and it’s priceless to get to laugh with him.
The important thing is that they are aware enough of their stuff that they realize when it’s getting in the way of being the father they want to be. — Justin Lioi, LCSW
I may not have met my dad, but not knowing him made me see what I want in life. I want to be the best father to my Dylan, and though I know my dad would never hear me say how much I am thankful for the life he had given me, still I want to say, “Dad, thank you. I am now a daddy, and I love my son more than anything else. There is no way you could have loved me less. I know you love me, and whatever the reason was for you to not make to my birthdays and baseball games, I forgive you. I love you, too.”