In the chest of a father beats the heart of a father.
When our children are young, we protect them, help them, guide them. But mostly we keep them from burning their fingers or jumping off of cliffs. We are the guardrail of the highway on which they travel and initially we are also the bumpers that keep them in the lane and not in the gutter.
Then they grow, become older and begin to walk. That is why we as father’s help them find the best berries in the berry patch. We help them see the world, see the wonder, see the magic around them. We teach them how things should be, could be, would be.
As they age, they begin to separate, to pull away. We as father’s step back and let them. Yes, it hurts, each foot they are a further way. Each moment we can’t be it is hard. But they are growing and soon are on their own. We are no longer the guide but now transition to a lampost. Useful at times when the light is needed, but for the most part stagnant and not moving. We don’t rush to them when they fall. If they need a hand, they reach to the lampost, but for the most part, we are static.
We nurture, raise and guide them. Only to reach a time when we have to let them go. In the chest, that father’s beating heart skips a beat. Skips a moment and then a part of it starts again. A part of who was a dad stays in the child that is now an adult. I know, many years after I left home, that I still needed my father’s guidance. My grandfather’s support and concepts. I still need to ask my mother if it is ok. As we age the questions, we ask of the family become less and less often, but the questions become much harder.
In my chest beats a father’s, heart. I love each of my children. I guide them when they need it. I am the beginning, the moments when they were young and needed protection. I am the moment they learned to read. Or the first time they caught a ball. I am a piece of them forever.
Beating in their chests now is the piece of you that you gave them, as their father. A piece of your heart, the beating heart of their father.