There is no doubt that Father’s Day in 2020 is going to be a very different experience for so many dads around the world. The presence of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we go about our lives every day and for some dads and families, those changes are greater than others. With social (or physical) distancing, the associated closure of restaurants and cafes, the limited number of people able to attend family gatherings, and even the use of face masks to protect ourselves along with the most vulnerable members of our society, it just feels like this one has the potential to be a little less intimate and fulfilling.
It is because of this that this year I have decided to not take the day for granted. Whilst I enjoy Father’s Day, because of the up and go lifestyle we tend to lead during the winter months, it usually just passes with little fanfare on my behalf. This year will be different and I will take the opportunity to practice gratitude.
And what do I have to be grateful for?
Firstly, I am a father to 2 wonderful kids who are supported by an amazing mother. They will bustle into my bedroom with breakfast on a tray and an armful of homemade and store-bought presents and handwritten cards, telling me just how lucky they are to have me as a dad and how they love me so much. In reality I am the lucky one and as I reflect on them both I find myself wondering what I ever did to deserve such loving kids.
Next, I am lucky to live in South Australia, where aside from limiting numbers of gatherings we are free to come and go without restriction. This means we can get up and go to soccer, to cheer each other on and be with other parents and kids. In the middle of winter, when a sleep in would generally be considered far more preferable to being out at soccer, 3 months in isolation makes you realise just how much the kids miss it and how much I miss being part of it.
The day will be spent with my dad too. A man who I am very grateful and proud to call my father. We didn’t have everything we wanted growing up, but we always had what we needed. He has taught me about humility, appreciation, social justice, fairness and equity. My values are a reflection of his lessons as are my successes. I am grateful for his love, his patience, and the support he continues to play in my life.
And finally, as a gamer, how could the day not pass with some family game time!! Whether we crowd around the Playstation and laugh at each other playing Fall Guys or jump online and play a few rounds of Fortnite, we will bound to share the bonding and enjoyment that this has always gives us.
The brilliant thing about Father’s Day is that there isn’t just one perfect day. For each of us dads there is something that we would love to do, however it’s the people we are sharing it with that make it special. The one thing that is constant though, is the sense of fulfilment we get from just being loved. And it is in that emotion that I will bask on Father’s Day.
Love to all you dads out there. Know you are brilliant, you are appreciated and that without you, we wouldn’t have the awesome kids we do. I’m going to leave you with one of my favourites on being a dad:
“Dad. He can play like a kid, give advice like a friend and protect like a bodyguard”
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