I watch my grandkids and how they enjoy their fathers, and vice versa. Daddin’ is on full display. I feel like the pebble in the pond; perhaps, I am a ripple. Or both. To all dads and father figures, Happy Ripple Day.
No matter what dads do, their effects ripple out. My grandfather left a lot to be desired as a father, but my dad chose to not replicate that performance. My dad wasn’t perfect – his epitaph says, “He left for us a most noble pattern” – but I never felt unloved. He affected how I believe fathers should be. I am totally confident that my sons would say that I wasn’t perfect either, but I think they have picked up some things about being a dad that they chose to follow, and some they chose to leave behind. The ripples continue out and I hope to live long enough to see how my grandsons take on the role of fatherhood.
In my daddin’ workshops, I remind attendees that every man is a father figure, whether they are dads or not. Every man has boys and younger men looking at him and thinking “I want to be like him.” The man who is a ripple himself becomes the pebble, causing pulses of influence by the way he lives. The popular song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” comes to mind.
Our dads are that – the ripple (influenced by who came before them) and the pebble (influencing others by the way they live). Never perfect.
On this Father’s Day, I reflect on the blessings of having had a loving father who tried to be better than his own, and for having wonderful sons and grandkids who love well, too. Every day is Father’s Day for me. Pause this Father’s Day to thank your dad, whether you still have him or not, for what he did well, sometimes despite amazing odds and negative influences. It will please him to know you are part of the positive ripples he created.
I miss you every day, dad. Love you.