Childs eyes hold key to being good dad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young,

Who loved thee so fondly as he?

He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue,

And joined in thy innocent glee.

&8212; Margaret Courtney

Fathers like myself are very fortunate individuals. We are fortunate for many reasons: we have healthy children who are not yet old enough to recognize our many faults; we have spouses who despite knowing better, choose to help make us look like better fathers in our children&8217;s eyes than we actually deserve, and we have paternal role models, both past and present, who inspire and guide us to be better dads.

Father’s Day is a day of commemoration and celebration of dad. It is a day not only to honor your father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in your life &8212;whether as stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers or “big brothers.”

This Sunday, fathers all across our community will be given presents, treated to special dinners or otherwise made to feel special. Many will wake Sunday morning to breakfast in bed, perhaps a greeting card with the not-too-sentimental, heartfelt thanks to dad for being a great father, a perfectly wrapped box enclosing the prerequisite tie or perhaps a refrigerator worthy piece of artwork fashioned from paper, crayons, ribbons and more than enough paste to complete the celebration.

Many of us have been fortunate enough to have the example of other fathers upon which to model our own attempt at being a good dad; I for one am very, very lucky in this regard as my life has been blessed by knowing and learning from many exceptional fathers.

But for many of us fathers, there exists an unmatched inspiration for being a better dad: the eyes of our children. An early morning gaze into your child&8217;s eyes warms the heart of any dad; looking hard enough, a dad can see the potential of their child, can anticipate the son or daughter&8217;s unspoken need, can sense a worry or hurt and can, if the room is quiet, find the joy only found in your child&8217;s eyes.

If you have or haven&8217;t done so recently, consider taking time to look into your child&8217;s eyes this Sunday morning as the Father&8217;s Day festivities begin. If you look hard enough, you will certainly find the celebration&8217;s greatest gifts.