As a kid, I grew up with heroes at my side. First hero: my dad. He was an exemplary father and taught to respect and appreciate the fine details live brings us. Second hero: my uncle Tato. He is still with me, sharing his ‘jibaro’ wisdom from various topics: world events, politics, BBQ tips. Three heroes of mine: my sons Gabriel, Alex, and Marco. A true blessing having three sons that I can call great friends, and one of them is also a dad (yes, I’m a granddaddy). Various heroes: all my good friends (Raul, Carlos, Roberto) that are dads, and enjoying every bit of it.
Lessons learned from the papaheroes:
1. Respect – this is a trait that can only be learned by modeling. My dad always showed respect to my mother, me, and every person we met. That doesn’t mean he agreed on everything we talked, but respect wasn’t negotiable.
2. Patience – during my life, this one has been a struggle. My uncle showed me not to rush into things. Take a step back, see your reality, and make a wise decision. It’s worthy to wait than to quickly rush into things, with unforeseen consequences.
3. Friendship – my dad was my best friend. I didn’t see at first, but when you are raising your offspring, you want to be their best friend. Earning their trust is so important, so they can relate to you their worries and misgivings when none is listening.
4. Love – last but the most important. Without love, there is no friendship, no respect, no patience. Love is the fundamental concept behind fatherhood. Is not only a sentiment, is a decision. You love your children unconditionally, no matter what.
For all the fathers out there, we hope you had a Happy Father’s Day!