Fathers give (and continue to give some more). They provide. They support us, teach us, even guide us. Perhaps, the most important thing they do is love – unconditionally. To love unconditionally requires continuous learning, improvement, and having the capacity to view experiences and situations in a different light. But, please don’t take it from me (a daughter thinking about her amazing, do-anything Dad and all the things he is to me and our family – love you, Dad!), instead, keep reading this Father’s Perspective from our Corporate Controller and Assistant Treasurer, Adam Akerson. You’ll gain some insight – maybe even a new perspective – of what it means and what they endure, to honor that title of being called Dad.
“It’s a girl!” Three simple words that changed my world. Three words that caused my heart to burst with love. Three words that ignited my fatherly instinct to protect. She had me wrapped, and I would do anything for her. I wanted to fight the phlebotomist who was just doing his job. I drove so sloooowly all the way home. I treated every slight fever, runny nose, or cough as if it were an emergency-room-worthy ailment.
“It’s a girl!” There are those words again. Girl number two proved to me that love (along with fear) multiplies, rather than divides. And while I was less neurotic the second time around, my desire to protect these angels from all my fears was just as strong. Fears of broken bones, broken spirits, and broken hearts. Fears of raging hormones and raging Buckle Card bills. Fears of driving and driving me crazy.
“It’s a boy!” These three words were supposed to bring relief – relief in that I would have a partner to protect his big sisters. But our little boy wasn’t breathing. He was rushed to the NICU, life-flighted to Omaha, and subjected to endless testing. He sent us on a rollercoaster of emotions, with positive results and progress one day, followed by devastating blows the next. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with an ultra-rare genetic condition and passed away when 52 days old. The ultimate fear realized.
In a single breath, my son flipped my fears. I no longer fear broken bones but fear my girls not taking risks. I no longer fear broken hearts but fear my girls not loving like crazy. I no longer fear raging hormones but fear my girls not feeling every feeling. I no longer fear my girls driving but fear them not embracing every adventure life throws their way.
In the end, my little guy did help me “protect” my girls by changing my perspective. He gave me the perspective to release crippling fears and unrealistic expectations. He gave me the perspective to love with abandon. But most importantly, he gave me the perspective that every single breath is a gift. Cherish it. Use it.
To all the Dad’s, Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for all that you do, but most importantly, for being YOU!