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The importance of fathers

June 9, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

He doesn’t stand out in a crowd, just an average, regular guy,

But to me he’s a king and stands near 10 feet high.

He loves and understands me, whether I am good or bad.

They’ll make the man that I will be, the hours I spend with Dad.

– Author unknown

As a daughter myself, my father was my “king” as well. Although he is no longer living, his legacy of love, faith, hard work, and devotion lives on. He was my dad, and my siblings’ dad.

Professionals say that the same sex parent will have the greatest impact on a child – father to son, mother to daughter. Certainly daughters need their fathers and sons need their mothers, maybe just in different ways with equal intensity.

My father was my rock. He was strength, yet solitude. He was hard work, yet fun and folly. My father’s laugh still rings in my ears. He laughed with his whole body, his torso and shoulders shaking, his eyes shining, his lips closed extending from ear to ear, and sometimes even tears rolling from his eyes.

My father’s laugh is an image that will always remain with me as memories that exude happiness and laughter.

My father was wisdom yet simpleness in knowing what means the most – faith, family and love. He loved without judging and spoke with value.

“For daughter, Daddy is the first man they adore. . . His is the first to fall in love with us,” Rexanne Mancini wrote in an article, “The Importance of Fathers.”

Professionals also say that girls may choose mates or be attracted to males who have the same personality traits as their fathers.

The father-daughter relationship is extremely important and valuable. Girls need their daddies. In fact, the movement for a national Father’s Day in part began in the 1900s by a grateful daughter, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, who wished to convey her deep thankfulness to her loving dad, according to www.webholidays.com.

Certainly there is no debate that sons need their fathers. Fathers have a large impact on who their sons will grow up to be.

For sons, daddy is the first they aspire to be like. Fathers are their role models. They influence how their sons will treat others.

The very first Fathers’ Day was actually on June 19, 1919 in Spokane, Wash. President Calvin Coolidge also showed support of it becoming a national holiday.

But, it wasn’t until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson made it official, proclaiming Fathers’ Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday in June (the month of Father Smart’s birth).

Now that I am married and have a family with my husband, I know even more deeply the importance of fathers. My husband is my partner in this journey of parenting. On a daily basis, I observe his impact on our two daughters and one son. What he brings to the family relationship is different than what I bring as a mother. His role is so valuable, as is a mother’s.

As a daughter and mother myself, I would like to share these precious words by our four-year old daughter, Delaney.

“Someday I will be a parent. I will have kids. I will have a car,” she said.

My husband, her father, responded, “I will be the grandpa.”

“No you can’t be a grandpa,” Delaney said.

Daddy reassuringly said, “I will still be your daddy. I will just be a grandpa to your kids.”

“Okay,” Delaney quickly said, “then you can be the grandpa.”

From daughters to fathers, we always want our “daddies” no matter how old we are. Sons need their fathers to teach them about life.

May all the fathers, grandfathers, and father figures know how truly important you are.