When I was a little girl my Dad and I would take several days each year to do something fun, just the two of us. We appropriately coined them "Father-Daughter days." One of my fondest childhood memories is going to see The Lion King on Broadway with my Dad. Everything about that play was magical and I was able to share that experience with my father - the man I looked up to most in my life (and still do). As a little girl, that was truly something special.
Throughout my life, my Dad has made me strong and confident, and I owe a lot of my own character to the near flawless example he provided. As a kid my father taught me to reach for the stars. As a teenager in high school he taught me about integrity. Now, as an adult, he is unknowingly teaching me how to be a good parent. I find myself imitating him more so than ever. I think about the incredible way I was raised, and all I need to do is watch and remember what he did for me. I find it sad when society diminishes the importance of fathers. Whether or not we are willing to admit it, our relationships with our fathers so hugely shape who we become as adults. Having my father around as I grew up showed me how to respect myself and love other people. My father has taught me what a man should be, and now I see that same strength in James. My son is going to be an incredible man because he has the example of his own incredible father.
James feeding Jamesie one of his favorite foods - Banana!
As Jamesie gets older and less dependent on me and the comfort only a mother can give, I am beginning to recognize more fully the unique bond he has with his father, James. This bond will continue to grow as he gets older and admires his father more and more. Young boys have a special kind of relationship with their fathers, and I am looking forward for that between Jamesie and his father. Last weekend I became a certified indoor cycling instructor and needed to leave Jamesie for the entire day. This was the first time I had ever left Jamesie for more than a few hours, so naturally I was very nervous. I was worried he would miss me and would be miserable without me. Yet at the same time I was comforted by the thought that my son would be with his father for the whole day. There is no safer, more secure place in this childs life than in the arms of his father. While I am sure Jamesie did miss me, he was completely fine without me because he had his Dad.
Jamesie as a newborn with his Grandpa - the first James Francis Xavier Marino.
James is an outstanding father to our son. He is a commanding force and a steady hand to the sometimes slippery slope that is parenthood. I can already see how Jamesie is going to completely idolize his father -- and there is no better role model. I can see how becomming a father has changed James as well. Learning from the example he was provided by his father, James is confident in himself and protective of his family. He understands what really matters in life. Aside from my own father, I do not know anyone who has as much integrity, strength and heart as James. I feel blessed to have him in my life, as my best friend, and more importantly as the father of my son.
Happy Father's Day!