Every time I look up to the sky and see an Avro Lancaster flying overhead, I think of my dad. No matter where I am, when I hear the thunder of those engines, my heart rate rises and I run to look for it. Sometimes it makes me weep, it has such a profound effect on me. Despite a fear of flying, my father loved those planes.
What're your father's passions and interests? If he's passed away, what things trigger a memory of him for you?
So often, father-child activities and experiences later serve as powerful reminders and symbols of our dads, themselves.
Sometimes our dads have interests we don't share, yet we can still support, and even encourage, his involvement in them. Other times, we're a chip off the old block and celebrate the same passion. Perhaps the two of you are athletic or creative, or both. If the pair of you are musical, you may even collaborate together.
This can be a wonderful shared experience when it's truly joyful for both father and child. But it isn't an imperative to share your parent's interests to love them, as many of us know. We love them for who they are - their true, whole self.
Perhaps this is your first Father's Day, as a new parent. Or maybe you're about to become a dad. You may be considering what qualities make a great father or how you'll do - being someone's dad, that is - yikes!
Parents often have a lot of hopes and dreams for their children.
If they haven't fulfilled or succeeded in achieving some of their own dreams, they can sometimes unknowingly shift them onto the next generation in the form of expectations.
Dr. Shefali, a clinical psychologist, author and speaker, explores this phenomenon in her work on relationships. She often speaks of the importance of seeing your child for who they truly are, and her own personal struggles in trying to put this into practice in her own life.
The thing is, isn't this what everyone really wants? To be seen and accepted for who you are - your whole, true self. Not through a filter of judgment, expectations and fear, but the clear, open eyes of unconditional love?
If you've got a dad that sees you and accepts you as you are - count yourself lucky and celebrate him!
Happy Father's Day!