I’ve been blessed to have so many strong women in my life that have stepped into motherly roles after my mom passed away. I am incredibly blessed by another woman whom my children call “Abuela” (grandma). She came into our lives when I was just going into those wonderfully awkward teen years. But before then, for nearly 6 years, it was dad and us. In those six years, he help mold and shape me into who I am today. He has taught me to be the mom I am today. Dad’s you matter!
My dad has never been the “I love you” type but I have always known it to be true. I’d say words are not his love language. Yet I have always known that he does. I remember being around 8/9 years old. We were headed for church and dressed to the nines. Usually we just got our hair brushed (maybe) and headed out the door. This particular Sunday I had decided that I wanted a braid in my hair. I asked my dad if he would braid my hair. He never hesitated, despite the fact that he had never done this before. His fingers fumbled around my long hair. There were strands hanging loose, a plain old rubber band held it in place, and a bow that probably didn’t match my dress. I remember looking in the mirror knowing it wasn’t perfect but he tried.
“I remember looking in the mirror knowing it wasn’t perfect but he tried.”
You won’t be prefect every times. You will fail sometimes but you have to try. Even if you don’t know how to do something (like braiding your daughters hair when she asks). Recently this memory came to mind when my own 6 year old asked me to give her a unicorn horn hairstyle.. Yup. Many tries and you tube videos later we finally came up with something that worked.
Let Them Help
I’ve learned to do so much through my dad’s teachings. He let me experiment in the kitchen at a young age. I also learned to mow the lawn and weed eat. He let us help even when I’m sure we weren’t much help at all. As a mom I sometimes feel that I have to do it all. I don’t! I have these eager to please littles running around who are more than willing to help. It will take more time, a bigger mess to clean up later, and it will most certainly not be perfect. I tell them thank you. Praise them for their good work. Let your children help you.
Let Them Be Who They Are
My sister and I love to reminisce about how even though we didn’t have a women in the house we still had the laciest, fluffiest girl-est dresses for church on Sunday (complete with lace socks and “fancy shoes”. During the week we played with barbies, went to dance class, and played kids make-up kits. My sister wore dresses every day (snow storm or not). It would’ve been easier I’m sure for him to say no to these things or just put us in jeans and a T-shirt. But he didn’t. He understood we had likes and dislikes and he listened to them. So much so he let me get a hair perm in the 3rd grade… Seriously I had an Afro for a year… He let us be us and he didn’t squash that for the sake of convenience. Don’t worry about what others will say, about what you do or don’t know, just let them be who they are!
Play At The Park
We had a Sunday tradition. After church we would go out to eat and then go to our favorite park. The best times was when it was nice enough out to take our food to go and have a picnic. This wasn’t anything fancy by any means (taking 4 kids on a picnic by yourself can’t be fancy). To him maybe it was a change of pace. It would be a pretty ordinary thing. There in the ordinary, playing at the park in my Sunday best, are some of my best memories. Be present in the ordinary.
Let Them Sleep Next To You
After my mom had passed away we ended up moving to the house next door. We had changed schools and came back. We had help for a while but then it was time for us to begin our new normal. To say that was a lot of change for anyone is an understatement let alone children. At nights we would “sneak” into his room where the youngest of my two siblings would have already found there way next to him. My sister and I would then snuggle up on the floor to be close. Never did he say go back to bed. He always let us stay. Knowing we needed his comfort during those oh so dark nights. Comfort your little, let them sleep next to you when they are scared or unsure, kiss away the “owies”. That season won’t last long.
You know how to be a good parent. Even if you didn’t have the best example in life. You won’t be a perfect mom. My dad was a great father despite our circumstances. Ladies, your husband is a great dad, let him be, even when he doesn’t do things the way you think he should. Trust that God gives him the abilities to be a great dad just as he has given you what you need to be a great mom. God placed this man to be your husband and he has placed this man to be your children’s father. Trust that He knows!
My dad has shown me how to be a good parent over and over. He has extended grace when I probably didn’t deserve it. He showed me what attributes to look for in a husband without even knowing it. He loves God and has shown me how to lean into him during the darkest time in his life. He loves me the best he knows how. That’s all I could ever ask for.
I love you dad. Happy Father’s day, Thank you for showing me how to be a good mom!