Celebrating Fatherhood and Quality Family Time
You know how in movies you see a kid at a recital or basketball game and they are looking to see if Dad is there? I never had to do that. I knew my dad was always going to be there for me. My dad was basketball coach, he was in the church choir, he was the deacon; we were in church three times a week.
So the biggest challenge for me being a father is traveling. I hate going on the road because I want to be around my kids. But even when I’m on the road, with FaceTime or Skype, I make sure that we say our prayers before my son goes to bed just like Dad did with me.As Father’s Day approaches, my fellow Council members and I took some time to reflect on the importance of male role models in our lives. Many of us were influenced by our fathers when we were growing up, and some of us now have children of our own to pass along life lessons and healthy habits.
In the spirit of Father’s Day during Men’s Health Week and in celebration of President Obama’s Fatherhood Initiative, some of us wrote messages to our fathers or our own kid(s) about the impact they have on our lives. All of us seemed to agree on one essential truth: spending quality time with loved ones can have a positive and lasting impact on our health, happiness and well-being.
COUNCIL MEMBER MESSAGES TO THEIR FATHERS –
"Although you never figure-skated or played hockey, you could always sense that your baby girl loved to ice skate. I know that it wasn’t easy waking me up at 4:30 a.m. every morning, but you and Mom both knew sports are good for mind, body, and spirit. And you recognized that the determination and goal-setting I would learn in sports could be transferred to other aspects of my life." View full letter »
"These lessons you shared, not only though our conversations but your day to day example, have shaped me into the man I am today. My relationships with my own children are shaped by your guidance. As they have grown from babies to young adults and beyond, it has been your voice that has guided my hands as they have grown into the wonderful grandsons and granddaughter you know today." View full letter »
"Father’s Day is the time that I reflect back on my childhood and how you were instrumental in my upbringing. You have taught me many things despite my deafness – that I should believe in myself, know that anything is possible and that I am just as important and capable as any other person." View full letter »
Donna Richardson Joyner:
"Spending quality time with family is important to me. My greatest personal accomplishment is being a caregiver for my father, Papa JR, who has dementia. I'm blessed to have help to take care of him around the clock."View full letter »
COUNCIL MEMBER MESSAGES TO THEIR KIDS –
Dr. Stephen McDonough:
"It was easy to play with you because it was fun and fun is what childhood should be all about. You had great imaginations and loved to be active. No matter how stressful the day was, play time was active time and that was a great stress reliever. Now as adults, I love to spend time with you being active, going for walks in parks with our dogs, watching birds and mammals and taking pictures while we exercise." View full letter »
"I'm a new father, eight weeks into it. I've discovered that (aside from changing diapers) the best connection I have to my daughter is through cooking meals for my wife." View full letter »