One of the important things about being a father is being there for your kids. I’m not talking about simply living in the same house, paying the bills, or putting food on the table. I mean spending quality time with your son or daughter and creating memories together.
Thankfully, I have a father that went over and above. When I look back, it’s truly amazing how much my father did for me. Much of our relationship involved racing dirt bikes, a passion we both share. We spent a lot of time practicing, driving to races, and in the shop fine-tuning the motorcycle. To make a living, my father worked 12 hour shifts in a helium plant for over 25 years. Sometimes these shifts would be at night, other times they would be during the day, and it was constantly rotating. There were times when he would work 60 hours a week and then some. Yet, he still managed to take me to the track to practice during the week and drive me to the races on the weekends. We bonded in the car as we sang along to AC/DC songs. On one occasion, I said that it was funny that we didn’t even know the words, to which my father responded, “It’s AC/DC! You don’t need to know the words!”
Years later, now that I’m thinking about having kids of my own, I think of my father’s sacrifices as the ultimate standard that I hope to uphold. The following story will help you understand why. The last time I was at my parent’s house, he was fixing a dirt bike for a kid who lived in town. As we were loading the bike into the truck, we all talked about our fun motorcycle stories. Many of these stories involved dad coming home from work, getting four hours of sleep, and driving in the wee hours of the morning to a race. Then he paused and said, “You know looking back, I wish I didn’t have to work so much. I really feel like I missed a lot.” Dumb founded, I said, “You didn’t miss anything dad! You just never slept!” What amazes me is that my father truly gave his all for me, and yet, he looks back on those times wishing he could given me even more.
Perhaps that is the definition of a good father: A man who always wants to give, even when he has nothing left. I can only hope that, one day, when I have kids, I am strong enough to do the same.