As a dad...you notice other kids your kids age, and you observe how this world is effecting them.
As a dad, you learn to spot hurting kids...especially the same age as your child. As a dad, you see headlines that tell of a world just waiting to devour our kids and you worry, you pray, you plan, you lose sleep, and you pray some more.
As a dad, you hurt for the hurting kids you come across. You hurt for the friends your child has who are in pain. You constantly reevaluate the job you are doing as a dad. You raise the bar daily...sometimes by the hour. As a dad, your every effort is for your kids, for their dreams..and in this day in which we live...for their safety and survival. As a dad, you cry, As a dad you worry. As a dad you learn, you educate yourself, you try to think three or four steps ahead of where they are now and what might be coming next. As a dad you worry if you're doing the job right. You pray that you are and you worry that you aren't.
As a dad, you feel the time racing past you like the wind. Slipping through your hands like sand. As a dad, you fault yourself for your failures and take precious little comfort in your successes.
My daughter will be 15 in little more than a month.
I remember the day she was born. I can still smell the baby powder and how she felt asleep in my arms. I can still hear her singing in her car seat in the back of my car as we drove home for vacation. I can still hear her simple, poignant bedtime prayers.
As a dad, I grieve the time that flies by without regard for my futile grasp. As a dad I face each day desperately hoping to improve my lot for her sake.
As a dad I hurt when I see another dad on TV, broken-hearted over a tragedy that has wounded his child. As a dad I have no tolerance for dads who don't appreciate their children, don't take the time to be a dad, don't empty their souls into their kids each day, knowing that whatever they can pour into them will get them through, more than money or material ever can.
As a dad I am saddened by parents who see parenthood as anything but the greatest gift God gave anyone. Who set their clocks on "when these kids will be gone". As a dad I am brokenhearted over dads who never know their kids...never know their dreams...never work to see them come true.
Everything I do is measured by what I do...as a dad.