Celebrating Fathers & My Story
For the month of June, I thought I’d mix it up a bit on the blog. I’ll go back to sharing the 10 Habits of Happy Mothers right where we left off, but for this month, I’ve dedicated the blog to talking about fathers and father figures. Also, there will be giveaways throughout the month. Stay tuned for that!
I’ll do that largely through sharing tidbits from my book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. Moms out there: stay tuned, that doesn’t mean that the content this month is only applicable to fathers. In fact, I’ll need your input and will be asking for you to share your own stories soon.
I’ll start by sharing a personal story with you about my own father.
In September 1979, my father spoke a single sentence that changed my life. I had graduated from Mt. Holyoke College earlier in the year and had been rejected from several medical schools, so I was living at home pondering Plan B. One evening, on my way upstairs, I overheard my father talking to a friend on the phone. This was unusual, for my father was not a very social man and a phone conversation with a friend was noteworthy. I stopped outside his door, which was slightly ajar, and listened.
“Yes,” he was saying. “They really go grow up fast, don’t they? I’m excited to tel you that my daughter, Meg, will be starting medical school next fall. She’s not quite sure where,though.”
My head went hot. I thought I was going to pass out. What was he saying? Medical school? I’d just received a handful of rejections. I’ll be going to medical school next fall? How can he say that? What does he know that I don’t?
His words alone didn’t change the course of my life. His tone, his inflection, and his confidence had an amazing impact as well. My father believed something about me that I couldn’t believe myself. Not only did he believe it, but he, a doctor himself, put his reputation on the line in front of his friend.
As I backed away from the door, my heart rate doubled. I felt thrilled and excited, because my father’s confidence gave me hope. Going to medical school had been my dream since I was a young teenager. And sure enough, in fall 1980, I started medical school, just as my father had said.
What my father gave me was confidence. Since I revered him as a giant in the medical field and a giant at home, I knew that what he believed was right. It didn’t matter what he said, I still believed he was right. He gave me belief in myself. He communicated to me, I don’t remember exactly how, that I could do anything I wanted to do.
If you are a father, a stepfather, a father-figure–I cannot express to you strongly enough how important and how invaluable you are in the life of your children, especially to your daughters.
The next few weeks, Dads, I’ll try to bring you behind the eyes of your daughters so you can see your importance to her. Once you get a glimpse of that, your life will never be the same.