It was all worth it to be a Dad

My Nikkel’s Worth column

In my first year here at the Weyburn Review, in June of 1995, I wrote a column for Father’s Day, entitled, “Why I’m a Daddy”.

I won’t reprint the whole thing here, but there were some interesting comments I made then as the parent of four young children, the oldest of whom was a “bright and articulate six-year-old” in kindergarten, at Elgin School (the last year it operated as a school).

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“When I come through the door at the end of the day, it’s worth all the heartache and frustration and tiredness to hear running feet and the cries of, ‘Daddy! Daddy’s here!’, followed by their small upturned faces and arms reaching up for a hug or to be picked up.”

I described about the joys of reading stories and cuddling them, but I also pointed out that being a Dad wasn’t all warm fuzzies.

“There are times those same sweet faces look steadfastly at you and tell you a flat ‘no’ when they’re told to do something,” I noted, not to mention the times of tears.

I spoke of “… the episodes of waking up in the middle of the night and crying inconsolably. I stumble to them in the dark and hold them, and sometimes they say whey they’re upset, while at other times they just want to sit and cry and be held, and that’s all right.”

I said at the end of that column that I knew there was more to come in my role as father.

“I know this is only the very beginning. There are more and bigger challenges ahead, as we live and care for our small ones, we hope they’ll still be with us when they reach their teenage-hood and bring the many changes and stresses inherent to that age.”

Looking back from the other side, with all of my children now adults and the bright and articulate six-year-old now 31, and living with her sisters in a house in Regina along with their cats, I can say that there were challenges, but also good times with each of them.

Even the kids are all adults, I still love them and worry about them, and about the choices they are making in their lives.

I know I wasn’t always the greatest dad, and I made mistakes in raising them, as I’m sure all fathers have in their own families — but it was all worth it, every minute.

They are each making their own way in their lives, and each one has their strengths, their struggles, their loves and amazing talents.

I am hoping they will continue to make good choices and to be good people who will do good, and even great, things in their lives — and yes, I was blessed and privileged to be their dad.