Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Editorial: Happy Father's Day — Hug them tight, teach them right


Photo by Jesse Murphy That moment when the sugar hits you...

Father’s Day has always been an odd holiday for me. I say this because when you get down to brass tacks, if you’re a father who is present in your children’s lives, every single day is Father’s Day.

My son turned 11 this year, and my daughter is now eight. They are — hands down — the best thing that has ever happened to me and truly what made me a man. I suppose I wouldn’t realize what I was missing if I never had it in the first place, but the thought of that void breaks my heart.

As a relatively young parent, you hear the cliche, “They grow up so fast … enjoy it while it lasts,” and so on. And they are true statements. I see that every single day. But it doesn’t really hit home from that angle.

The biggest joy of being a dad for me has been watching my little humans experience everything (literally everything) for the first time. That’s pretty deep when you think about it.

Life has a way of making one jaded with the smallest things that we take for granted on a daily basis. Seeing them go through these things for the first time is priceless.

Two examples … I happened to snap a photo of my daughter the very first time we let her have cotton candy. We were at a Royals game in Kansas City in 2012(ish). Her face perfectly captures the instant that sugar rush hit her.

I vividly remember the first time my son was able to bait his own hook, cast and reel in his catch — all by himself. I teared up a bit, and these moments still bring tears to my eyes.

Those two immediate memories don’t even scratch the surface and I only have so many column inches …

Father’s Day to me isn’t just one day a year where you light up the grill or get dad a new tool box. It’s a day that we as fathers can reflect on what it actually means to be someone’s dad.

The luckiest amongst us have those same moments with our fathers. I don’t like using “step,” but in this case it’s necessary. I have been blessed in my life to have a great dad AND a great step-dad.

They have both gone above and beyond for me, and I wouldn’t be where I am without their guidance and support. They also have helped me become who I am as a man. They’ll be the first to let me know when I’m wrong and the first to help pick me back up when I falter. This is invaluable.

The amount of gratitude I have for those two is beyond words. I can only hope to live up to the bar they have set.

To sum it up, I suppose I’d say to hug your little ones tight, teach them right, and give respect to the men that have helped make you who you are. We’re all better people from their efforts.


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