Happy Father’s Day to all of the incredible role models out there! From caregivers, priests and single moms, to step-dads, neighbours and grandpas, father figures play a crucial role in a child’s life and the position truly is a blessing. We’re fortunate to be surrounded by incredible, inspiring father figures and we thank and appreciate them all everyday.
As we get older, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day celebrations tend to take on a new tone. We’re finding them to be a lot more eye-opening (in both good ways and bad ways). We’re reminded of our limited-time with our aging family and we remember those we’ve lost. We’re also made aware of the distance between some family members and how it’s impossible to see certain people, even when we really want to. Some families are divided by distance (with different generations living all over the map) while others no longer have moms/dads due to death. Our family now experiences both of those scenarios. My (Angie) step-dad (who is essentially my father) lives in Florida and we live in Ontario, Canada. So getting together is rare and in short spurts (sparse weekend visits). My other incredible male role model was my grandfather and he passed away this year (Feb 2018). So this was our first FD without him. I’ve sent him cards and celebrated with him my entire life, so it was a big (sad) change. On these days, we end up missing people and feeling emotions we didn’t expect.
Thankfully, we’ve also got Rick’s father who lives within a 10 minute drive and he’s the best grandfather we could ask for. Although he’s in his mid-80s in terms of age, he’s a big kid at heart and never hesitates to shower our boys with love and a swift metaphorical punch to the nose. We cherish our time with him and make sure we spend as much of it together as we can.
We’ve also learned, as of late, to really embrace the family that surrounds you. We moved into an incredible community (we moved onto a court street and the neighbours are phenomenal) and it’s important to nurture those relationships too. Chances are, in a bind or emergency, those are the people you end up turning toward. They’re close (in proximity) and will likely be around when you need them. So we’re making a point of opening our arms, our doors, our hearts, our yard and our cupboards (haha) to show our neighbours how much we appreciate them too. The grandpas on our street treat our toddlers like they’re their own. They help them ride bikes, set up mud piles, get snacks and so much more.
We’re all like one big family.
So if you don’t have family around you (either because of distance or due to death) don’t feel isolated or alone. Try to embrace your friends, your church community, other travelers and fellow families to create your own tight-knit group. Problems seem to feel a lot easier to tackle when you’ve got a big team supporting you.
So, today, we challenge you to think outside of the typical family tree. Who could you extend a branch to? Who deserves a special nod or a big thank you?
Are you feeling alone or isolated in your parenting? Think outside of your own family…who could your nurture and cherish as though they’re your own blood? Send them a note, deliver a home cooked meal, or even a simple phone call or text will do.
No matter how you’re celebrating, or who you are with today, we hope you enjoy this magical occasion to give thanks to the amazing father figures in your community.
Big love and happy travels!