Recently, I was explaining to a friend of mine some of the experiences I’ve had as a single dad, as well as a few of the challenges. Most of the work you do is largely done without any sense of gratitude or recognition from your child – and it can often wear you down if you aren’t conscious to stay positive.
For example, there are a lot of moments you have as a parent where it would simply be nice to have some sort of recognition for the effort you’re making, as you do in other areas of your life. However, a lot of the heroic moments tend to go without applause.
Bonding with Atlas has been a unique experience for me, and one that’s full of golden moments that tend to make up for any of the difficulties that come with parenting.
This week, I took Atlas to a park and he ran to a tree as soon as we got to the playground. Carefully inspecting the tree, he lowered himself down on his knees and looked for anything that seemed interesting.
Something seemed to startle him, and he suddenly stood up and started to whimper. Suddenly, his attitude changed and he yelled out:
As he shouted the words, he took his little fist and struck his puffed-out chest.
Atlas was saying “I’m with my Dad” – something I told him to say if he’s ever sees something that startles him.
It really touches me when I think about this moment, as well as the number of other times I’ve seen him do the same thing. It means a lot to know that he feels safe with me, his Dad, and that he knows I’m there whenever he gets frightened.
As an adult, I find myself in a lot of scenarios where I wish I had my Dad around. Just last week, I was using a power tool and having difficult with the job I was working on.
“Dad, I could sure use your help right now.” I found myself saying, aloud. And I could have used his help, that day and countless others.
Despite him not being here, my Dad is still with me in many ways. I think about him many times throughout my workday, and I now find countless ways where I look back and think that my Dad had it right in many ways.
“Dad knows best” he used to tell me. Perhaps he didn’t get it right 100% of the time – he made a difference in my life and he has been a silent co-partner in my journey through life as a man, son and IT consultant.