THE MONTHLY ADVOCATE
My father was a person I looked up to as I was growing up, and so was my grandfather. They made sacrifices so that their children and I could have a better life than they did. They modeled what it looks like to be a responsible man who takes care of his duties as a husband, father, and employee. When I became a father, I saw my father’s sacrifices in a whole new light. Even the little choices he made every day involved giving me his time and energy. Being a parent forces you to be selfless, which is hard, but it is also the most rewarding experience you can imagine. Seeing the innocence that my kids possess and the sheer joy they feel just by playing with me is the best part. I love that. The most challenging part of becoming a parent is that there is no book that can answer the questions or uncertainties that come with raising a child. Fatherhood is the process of learning as you go. It’s tougher some days than others. Some days, you get it all right — your kids eat the right foods without a fuss, are happy all day, and go to sleep tired at the end of it. Other days, you do the best you can, and you learn that your kids are their own people who are learning too. Being a father means finding more patience than you knew you had. It also means finding more love than you ever knew existed. Our work as immigration attorneys also brings the importance of fatherhood into constant focus. In many cases, the father is the sole worker in a family, while the mother stays home. This isn’t the case for Keren and I, but we recognize that it is the reality for many of the families we work with. Sadly, we often see families broken up when a father is detained on his way to work and separated from his family. It leaves the mother as the sole caretaker for the family, having to take on jobs — sometimes for the first time — just to make ends meet. The family is left scrambling to come up with money.
In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to recognize the people who helped me become the person I am today. I’ve had the privilege of having good role models throughout my life. Among these, the men in my family showed me what it means to care for a family and be a father. Their example taught me that the role of a father is not just something you fill when you have a child. It means taking on one of the most challenging and rewarding roles you will ever have. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A DAD Reflections on Fatherhood HANGING OUT WITH MY SON AARON
I plan to spend Father’s Day with Keren and our kids, enjoying each other’s company. We will hopefully get a chance to go to the park or pool, but what really matters is that we are together. I hope you get to do the same with your family. Hold each other tight, and spend your Father’s Day with the ones you love.
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