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Thanks for everything you do, Dad

Thanks for everything you do, Dad

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Emelia Richling

Emelia Richling

This year, it feels like Father’s Day has been overshadowed by the chaos of the world. From a global pandemic to a faltering economy, it seems that the world is in such a stressful place.

Over Father’s Day weekend, headlines focused on the sad number of fatal Chicago shootings, another example of our chaotic world. Taking a break from the information about a second wave of the coronavirus, the impending presidential election, or foreign affairs and focusing on something else can give us a break from the pressures of the world.

With Father’s Day officially a week behind us, it is easy to plunge back into the headlines of the world and forget the people who have shaped our hearts and minds. Although this article may seem a week late, it is really right on time. Before we forget our fathers or our father figures, it is important that we take this moment and the subsequent time to honor the figures in our life who claim the role of father.

Since at least the early 16th century, there has been a customary day for the celebration of fatherhood, honoring the paternal bonds, the dads and their influence on societies. Around the world, Father’s Day, or holidays with similar titles, are celebrated in order to show society’s appreciation for fathers, although the date does vary. However, whatever date is used to officially celebrate this day, it is incredible to see that, despite the chaos of the world, we still carve out time to honor the paternal influence that shapes who we are.

Whenever I think about my dad, I understand the role that he plays in raising me, a role that I am grateful to him for because he has truly changed me. The way he loves me, comforts me, talks to me, and helps me are all small signs of the greater person that he is. They are signs of the person that I want to grow up to be: caring, loving, and compassionate.

We may not always share the same interests, but our relationship is not divided by the differences; it is glued together by what we can bond over. For instance, our conversations don’t focus on trivial parts of life. Whenever I want to talk to someone about ideas, politics, or history, my dad is always willing and ready to have the conversation. Personally, I know that my mind has been shaped by my father because I grew up debating and discussing topics with him, stretching my knowledge and capacity for understanding.

There are so many different ways our fathers shape us, so not everyone will be able to tell the same story. I am proud of my father and who he has helped me to become.

It is apparent in our relationship that he has influenced me and my siblings, but a loving father’s influence reaches outside of even this sphere. My dad, for example, has developed a relationship with everyone in our family from his children to his pets, proving his unwavering devotion and demonstrating his abundantly caring attitude. His schedule, his heart, and his mind are always open to his family, influencing us more than he knows.

For some of us, however, it has been the father figures who have molded our lives, taught us lessons, and helped us grow. Honoring our paternal bonds doesn’t mean that we have to be biologically related. Whoever the person is that has shaped you while undertaking the role of a father figure, they deserve to know how much you appreciate them; reach out to them and tell them how much you appreciate their influence, even if the message comes a little late. Because, whatever our relation, we appreciate the fathers and the father figures who have truly impacted our lives and the way we grew up.

Paternal figures nurture our early years and shape our futures, bringing traits like closeness, warmth, and problem-solving to relationships. Set aside the hectic world and recognize the father figure who calmed the chaos and the storm by mentoring you and guiding you. Although news headlines are proof that we are in a chaotic place, the headlines that define your life can be about celebrating your loved ones, including your father or the father figure that has molded your mind and heart.

Emelia Richling is a sophomore at Northwest High School.

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