It's only been the last few years that I've realized on a personal as well as an observant level, how important it is to have a father who cares in a child's life. I'm sure it's important for young boys to learn from their father how to be a man, but it's equally important for young girls to learn from fathers how to be treated by a man. I know this from personal experience. Now, my mom is the greatest mom in my book, she took on the role of both mom and dad in my life, since I've never met my father. He left both her and I when I was a baby. My mom has incredible strength and she managed to provide all my needs and was there for me in every way. I wasn't that lonely, sad child who wished for a daddy secretly and wondered what I was missing. My mom was more than enough. Besides, why would I want to know somebody who didn't want to know me? There were a few father figures in my life growing up, but only one with staying power that made any kind of difference...my stepfather, Dave. Came into my life when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Complete opposite of my mom in every way I could think of at the time. Now, remember, my mom is my hero and she can do no wrong in my eyes, so everyone was unworthy of her to me. No one was good enough, because she deserved the very best and to be treated the way I felt she deserved. Now, Dave was a really good man, but he didn't show affection the way I thought he should, he just had a quieter, shy personality, unlike my mother's outgoing, outward displays of affection I was used to. So...not good enough. I focused on all his flaws and magnified them. Not till after he passed away and I was shaken to the core because of it, did I realize the good in him. And he loved my mom and took care of her in all the important ways, just in his own way, not my way. I learned a lot from him. But, unfortunately, because of my judgment and hostility towards him for years, we were never close. He was always there for me and provided all my needs and most wants, but I put up a wall that he could never break. I realize that I have barriers to this day because of it. It makes me uncomfortable to have affection from a man, because I'm not used to it. Though I love my husband, there is still that hesitancy. Because it is taken completely different when a man says something to me in comparison to a woman. Now that I'm older, I realize how much I wish I had that closeness with a father when I was younger. Since I grew up without a father, when choosing to spend my life with a man, that was one of the top "must-have's" in my book......had to want kids and I had to think he would make a terrific father....and I succeeded on that quest. My husband is a wonderful father and he adores my little girl. And she looks at him like he is her whole world. I'm so thankful she has that. But occasionally, I have "little girl" moments myself, where I wish when I was a kid that I had a strong father to pick me up and tell me I was his world. And whose arms I would run into when I was hurt or sad. Someone who would tell me I was good enough and remind me of the good in me. My mother is my #1 fan and has that covered brilliantly, but it's not the same. Because even though my husband is the best and I know he thinks a lot of me, there is still a part of me that thinks I will screw up enough one day that he'll leave me and realize that I'm not worth it. Maybe it's low self-esteem, but I can't help but think that a part of it is because my father didn't think I was worth it. Thankfully, many years ago I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was born again, so I now have a Father in Heaven looking out for me that I can talk to in prayer. But every once in a while, I wish for a physical hug or arms to wrap around me.
So, I guess I just want to say to all the fathers who choose their children as priorities, and to the women out there who chose these men.....good for you. It matters. Take this role seriously, because as a little girl, they don't see their father's flaws. They don't see the complications of life. They see a hero, and they will give him chance after chance after chance. When a father doesn't fill those expectations....the blame shifts to us little girls. We are not enough.