Father’s day is different. This is the one day a year where I get to bask in the glow of something (someone) that I helped create. Every time someone tells me how wonderful Aviendha is, how beautiful she is, how sweet, caring, thoughtful, funny, imaginative, and the list goes on and on and on, I get to smile, especially today, because I know the role I played in raising her to be that way.
That in no way means I am alone in this endeavor. Avi is blessed to have incredible, loving adults in her life, every day. Adults who help to show her and guide her through her life. I am (just) one of those adults.
There has been no undertaking in my 29 years that has been more difficult than raising her. She has tried my patience. She has left my sitting on the stairs after the 8th time I tried to put her to bed, my head in my hands as I sat and sobbed, wondering what I was doing wrong and what I could be doing differently. She has forced me to work harder, to be better. She has challenged me to be the dad that she needs.
However, in those same 29 years, there has been no undertaking, no endeavor that has been more rewarding. No matter what else I am in my life, I am her father. She has made me become a better person. She is so self-less and thoughtful that I have been left with no choice but to break out of my selfish shell and become more like her.
She turns five in July (where the hell did 5 years go?). On this, my fifth Father’s day, I am proud of the role I have played in raising her. And perhaps more importantly, I am proud of who my daughter is.