Dad. Another Word For Sacrifice.

close up of father holding son's hand

To me, “dad” is one of the most important and flattering words ever uttered out loud. You can say what you want about your dad or lack of dad figure. I’m not trying to preach to those with bad dad experiences. There are those that had awful mom experiences too. I’m talking about MY dad and what I grew up looking for in a future soul-mate.

Set aside the stereotypes and the sperm donor downer thoughts, I want to focus on the positive. Something society falls short on remembering. We are quick to point and blame. I’d rather give mad props to the dads, fathers, male parents and sperm providers that have given more than a love for football gene. I’m talking about the ones that from day one gave up his man cave and sports car for a nursery and minivan. Those fathers that cowered at the first diaper change but then quickly learned how to swaddle up his son like a baby burrito.

My father was a man who gave up something to watch me grow. He gave up his love of alcohol. He gave up his martinis after work and started AA when I was 3 years old. He traded in after work bar visits for tea parties with me.

He did it for our whole family but he says he did it for me. This past week, as I celebrated my big 41st birthday, my father told me that 41 years ago was one of happiest days of his life. Now he got to spend his daughter’s birthday 41 years later, something that he almost lost out on had he not quit drinking.

It was a sacrifice that his dad chose not to make. He didn’t want to lose what his dad had lost. Time.

Upon meeting my husband, I saw things in him that I didn’t see in other men. No questions of  “do you want to have children” came up because I knew within moments of us becoming a couple that he had attributes I wanted in a husband and father of my future children. He was self-sacrificing. He was this way from the start.

Today as I prepare to celebrate his 5th year as a father and 11th year as my partner, I look at our family as a unit that never would’ve happened if it wasn’t for the sacrifice made. It’s a choice that I know millions have dads have chosen to do or not do. It’s what I consider to be the reason that some fathers are that much more amazing.

Choice. Sacrifice.