Father’s Day is this weekend and for many of us, that means celebrating the bond we have with our dads.
Our fathers have been there with us through thick and thin, they’ve helped us navigate times of hardship and joy, and above all, they’ve taught us some of the most valuable lessons we’ve learned in life. But, have you ever thought things from his perspective? Parenthood is a momentous, life-changing event, one that is forever evolving and forever offering surprises and learnings along the way to parents and their children alike.
To celebrate dad’s day, we asked a few Free People guys around the office, who just happen to be fathers themselves, about what fatherhood has taught them. This weekend, be sure to thank your pops for all he’s passed down, and maybe even ask what he’s learned from you!
Dave, Free People COO
“I’ve had to re-learn everything with my kids, and watching them understand something for the first time is very gratifying. The change in perspective that comes from thinking about how it is that we know something, how we learned it, and thinking about the right way for them to learn something for the first time… I guess, the right way to be a teacher to them… I never used to think about these things before they were around.
… It’s incredible how much your kids look up to you and follow your lead. If you’re excited and energized, they are too. If you’re glum and dejected, so are they. It’s a good reason to always stay positive and optimistic. And I don’t think adults are very different, just better at hiding it. I think I’ve learned a lot about positive emotions because of my kids.
Kids are amazing at making very big deals out of very small things, but then not really caring about what we as parents tell them is a big deal. This was a good lesson for me that my kids teach me over and over… don’t sweat the small stuff or take everything too seriously… and most importantly, have fun in everything you do, kids are great at that. Also… they’ve taught me there’s never a bad time for a snack, and PB&J is perfect for lunch… day after day after day.”
Brian, Planning Manager
“It’s amazing how smart, funny, and perceptive little kids are. I spend most of my time at home laughing hysterically at the craziness. Last week, I overheard my 4 year old daughter, Callie, tell my 6 year old son Evan, “Dad is sooooo weird!””
Hunter, Web Analyst
“I think that becoming a father has changed me in a lot of ways. Before the birth of my daughter, Willa, I was fairly uncomfortable around babies… I never knew how to hold them, I was always petrified that I would make them cry because they could sense I had no business holding a baby. Now, I just melt when she snuggles on my shoulder and I like to think that she does as well. There is a physicality to the bond between parent and child that I don’t feel like you fully “get” until it’s your baby in your arms.
Obviously, watching her grow and learn new skills is amazing. However, it is kind of mind blowing when you realize that you are affecting how she perceives the world. At this point she is experiencing literally everything for the first time, and you have a role to play in how she takes it all in. The other week I started to teach her how to wave in the mirror. Now, she waves at everything… Waves at me in the morning, waves at her toy boom box, waves at the fan, waves at our dog Hugo.
The thing that I appreciate the most out of this whole experience, aside from Willa’s health, is the entire process of pregnancy and childbirth. Summed up, my wife is badass! I have a new appreciation for what the female body goes through in ways I couldn’t imagine before now. I can’t think about being a father without my partner in crime, because I don’t know if I could do it without her.”
Thank you Dave, Brian, and Hunter!
+ Now it’s your turn: share with us in the comments what you’ve learned from your parents, and be sure to thank your dad this weekend for all he’s taught you!