It’s mid-May, and I’m scrolling through Pinterest Father’s Day ideas that my two and a half-year-old can create for my husband. I’m also seeing some great ideas for my own dad, when my thoughts immediately turn to my nephew, Teagan, and my brother, Denny.
When Father’s Day rolls around each year, it’s natural to first think of your own father, or your husband, but what about the other important men in your life? If it really takes a village to raise a child, chances are, that village includes some brothers, uncles, neighbors, teachers… The list could go on and on with important male influences.
But today, it’s all about my brother. Ah, where to begin… My older brother has always had a strong presence in my life. We’re the definition of opposite: I’m loud, he’s quiet. I’m social, he’s private.
Growing up, we were never best friends, and I often just thought we were too different to ever be super close. As we reached milestones in our lives such as college, marriage, and military deployments, we always found a way to keep in touch, but when I found out he was going to be a dad, we started talking all the time.
Denny’s wife had a high risk pregnancy from the start, and after doing the best that everyone could, Teagan had to make his arrival into the world a little early… 12 weeks early to be exact, weighing in at just over three pounds. I knew immediately that Denny was going to be a great father.
Teagan had to spend a lot of time in the NICU, and Denny was there every moment he could be. When Teagan was finally able to come home, everyone was relieved that he was happy and healthy (although still tiny). I believe going through a high risk pregnancy and having Teagan in the hospital for so long was making my brother a stronger person, and a stronger father.
He would need that strength more than ever a few months later, when his wife passed away while Teagan was just six months old. Denny and Teagan moved in with our parents, and the new, uncharted journey of being a single dad, raising a son in a multigenerational household began. . . That was four years ago.
Today, Denny and I are closer than ever. I have a two and half-year-old daughter, and she and Teagan are best friends who are the definition of trouble when they’re together!
I’ve watched Teagan grow from tiny infant, to little boy almost overnight, and I’ve experienced my brother and I go from having a somewhat distant brother/sister relationship, to having a close friendship. I’ve watched him become an amazing father, and in the process have also been able to see my own dad play such an important, influential role in his life (which is an amazing thing to witness).
I’m so proud of my brother and the father he has become. So proud that every Father’s Day, it’s hard to find a gift to show him everything he means. So this Father’s Day, I’m writing it all down and letting him know that he is amazing.
Every family is unique, and not every family looks the same, but if we’re lucky, we have strong male figures in our lives that we can lean on and learn from.
Happy Father’s Day!