Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad. A Great dad.
I’ve never known my dad. He abandoned my Mom when she was pregnant with me. You’d think that would embitter my Mom towards all men, right? But no, she was an angel. Not only did she not bear grudges, she made sure I didn’t either.
I grew up listening to her extolling her own Dad’s virtues – who was known in the locality as a very generous man who’d literally take the shirt off his back to someone in need. In fact, I remember anecdotes in which he actually wore three shirts in winter just so he could take two off and donate to the people who lived on the streets. Mom and her siblings adored him for his soft spoken yet strong nature and to a large extent, inherited most of his wonderful qualities.
During my growing up years, my Mom more than made up for the lack of a father figure in my life. I have secretly envied a couple of friends’ dads – especially my best friend’s – and I smile as I recall her saying “hey, mi papa es su papa!” She and I have wonderfully fond and tearful memories of her dad – and when we are on our weekly phone call – she lives in a different country – we enjoy reminiscing. Both of us think we are totally lucky to be married to men who are great Dads.
Which brings me to Sury, the best Dad in the world, in my eyes. He has what it takes to be the perfect Dad.
- He has a great sense of humor.
- He has patience and an uncanny intuition for knowing exactly what to do in a crisis.
- He is kind.
- He has the ability to see the big picture and not pick nits over minor issues.
- He is present whenever we need it without asking
- He sets a great example to Vidur with his self-discipline, focus and positive attitude
- And saving the best for last – he’s quietly affectionate, caring and loving.
- He always keeps his promises.
- He makes sure we’re well cared for.
- He never thinks twice about going without just so we can have something.
Just for fun, I asked Vidur what he admired most about his Dad – and he said: “He is the sweetest and most caring person I know. He is loving and nice to me but also strict. He is ready to help me when I need it. He encourages me to do what I want but makes sure I am sensible and always supports me. He never forces anything on me and insists that I do something only if it is truly necessary. He is always there for me. Oh, it is not really possible to express my love for him in words.”
As for me, I think I am so fortunate that my son has Sury as his Dad. I remember, years ago when we bought our apartment, we were really broke. We’d stay awake nights figuring out how to balance that budget. The fact that I walked to work and managed to minimize expenses as much as I could was not as great as Sury scrimping on his comforts just so we didn’t have to compromise on anything that was necessary for Vidur. The best part? Even though we are in a better position today, Sury continues to be austere on himself and I admire him for it. He never hesitates to indulge Vidur – and I am doubly lucky to be blessed with a son who puts a lot of thought into what he asks, because he understands that we’ll never be unreasonable.
I raise a toast to the man I married, and the man who’s a #GreatDad – as we celebrate 18 years of being married today – Feb 9!
P.S.: The featured image at the top is from 2005