You didn’t set out to be a single father.
You set out to be the best father and that never changed.
Through all of the crazy, unexpected and heart stopping turns you held on, dug in and created a home where your children are safe and loved.
But this isn’t your predictable “Thank You” Father’s Day article.
This is more of a “hey—you’re doing a great job but I’m not at all surprised ’cause you’re just doing what you need to do.” Because you’re not kicking-butt at this parenting thing for other adults to notice. You’re not doing it for me, or for the crabby neighbor down the street.
It isn’t to impress the few dates you have managed to go on. No, you’re not parenting for anyone else’s approval. The only approval you need comes from your own mini-humans who show their appreciation with mud pies, dead spiders and glitter crafted popsicle-sticks that defy the limits of glue stability.
You’re a father because it’s your divine calling that you’ve fully embraced. So when society excitedly paints you to be the super-hero for raising your own children—you grit your teeth and shake your head, knowing that society has some catching up to do when it comes to the expectations of fathers.
You don’t see yourself as the super-hero in your kid’s lives—because they don’t need super heroes. They just need their dad.
Your kids don’t need lightning-speed heroics or strength of steel: they need consistency and strength of character.
You’re not aiming for world peace, simply peace in the home.
You just do you. You give your all every single day because your little ones are depending on you.
Juggling career, home, school, and indoor-fort architecture is daunting for anyone but more so for the man who swims it alone. And you sirs are staying afloat and channeling that current—because that’s what you do.
You braid hair, kiss the dolly’s boo-boo and have your toe nails painted.
You spread on the peanut butter while simultaneously un-crumpling the math homework.
You battle monsters, master light-saber noises, read out-loud in high pitched princess voices and ‘fold’ the fitted sheets—because that’s what you do.
You are everything to your children because they are everything to you.
In between the doctor visits, brace-face bullying and missing soccer cleats 5 minutes before game time you consciously find ways to teach your offspring that integrity, kindness, and hard work is what defines you as a person.
You find yourself saying things that defy all reason:
That the need for speed is often accompanied with broken bikes and bloody knees.
The law of gravity is non-negotiable no matter how big your cape is.
‘You can’t handle the truth’ is not an acceptable explanation for why the fish is missing.
Jesus really does want you for a sunbeam—even when you fart in church.
By now you’re a veteran at this dad thing and you’ve stopped being shocked at all that your mini-you’s have heaved at you.
So here’s a shout out to all the single dads who spend mornings whirling, nights worrying, and weekends scurrying to give your tiny humans the protection, love and laughter that all of you deserve. And even though I said I wouldn’t, and I hate giving in to cheesy clichés: keep calm, carry on and thank you.
You’re not just being a father: you’re being a role model. For all of us.