Father’s Day for me so far as a dad has never been about celebrating myself or my role as a dad.
For me, Father’s Day is an opportunity to again remind myself of the gifts of parenthood and what being a father has given to me.
Being a father was something I dreamed about from a very early age and in many respects, it was driven from a void of what I felt was missing from my life.
Like many people my parents separated when I was young, I was 6 months old. And my dad is a great guy however we never fully gelled when I was young. We struggled to connect deeply for many reasons and I always used to look at some of my friends around me and wonder why I didn’t have what ‘they’ had. I often felt like I was missing out when it came to that relationship.
So as a young boy, I would fantasize about the ‘ideal’ dad and dreamt that one day he would come into my life. Until now I didn’t think he showed up. Strangely though as I write this I didn’t realise that not only was I preparing myself to be that dad, I am now that guy and he came into my life just a bit later than I expected.
To be brutally honest I know my strengths and I am a great father, one of the best and for good reason. I am passionate about parenting, I am totally committed to the process and parent my son consciously. I love being a dad, it is the best job in the world.
Now I’m sure I am far from ideal and that I am totally biased, I have never hit my son, I do on rare occasions raise my voice though and sometimes even fall victim to threatening to take his toys away or not give him a treat if he doesnt ‘fall in line’ both of which end in his tears.
Whenever I catch myself being unwarranted I always apologise, always and quickly. It is import to me for him to see what healthy remorse looks like and that it is not only OK to apologize when we make a mistake however it is also a great strength. We have all been on the receiving end of someone who doesn’t feel the need to apologise even when it is appropriate and needed.
I don’t flood his space with toys that dampen his imagination and watch in awe as he takes random pieces of wood, plastic and old toys and turns them into spaceships, characters and monster trucks that keep him entertained for hours.
I am present when we are together often just staring at him with deep affection as I see him interact and navigate the world in a state of almost constant wonder. I can look into his eyes for days.
I choose my words carefully, surgically in fact and I am very aware of how my energy affects him and that energy was his first language and still his most trusted source of information from people around him.
I hold him close and stay peacefully calm when he’s upset and even when he’s having a melt down and whisper that “everything will be ok” and remind him to breathe.
I listen when he speaks, whenever he asks for my attention he gets it even if I’m in my office in a meeting or on an important call. He knows without a doubt he is my number one.
I create a safe place and make him feel safe in a world that to a kid sometimes feels scary and dangerous.
I push him to do things he doesn’t always want to and help him understand that failure isn’t failure if you learn from it. I always encourage him to “have a go”. He understands you either win or you learn and if you’re on a good day you do both simultaneously regardless of the outcome.
We talk about the values of the company so often that he can recite them on his own.
We have some incredible rituals that I know prepare his mind and his psychology to be able to stand the test of strength. He really is being set up to succeed and when I say succeed I mean be happy.
Being a father has been one of the greatest gifts life has given me so far and as you can probably tell I love it with an obsessive passion. It lights me up so much, my heart fills with joy and emotion at the simple thought of my son and seeing him in my mind.
One of my greatest joys is asking Noah what he wants to be when he grows up as he almost always replies, “I want to be a dad, just like you”. This kid I tell you I am always melting in his presence.
Being a dad has made me a better person, a more caring friend, a deeply empathic leader, a relatable and real speaker, a resilient businessman, a powerful coach and all round it has made me a better, healthier human being.
Being a dad has made me care about the future of our planet and our species, I now recycle rubbish and think about my footprint and most importantly think about my legacy and what I am leaving behind. My son you are already my greatest legacy, you are my greatest achievement.
So on this day, I want to thank Noah and all the sons, daughters and mothers who have given us the opportunity to be fathers and to experience the purest form of love and connection I have experienced on this planet so far.
I want to thank you Noah, you have given me so much I could never have received if not for the gift of your presence my life. You are my best friend.
I love you more than the sun, the moon, the stars and everything in between and love you in all ways always forever and a day, times infinity plus 1.
Happy Father’s Day xx