Reflections on Fatherhood: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

Recently, I've found myself turning to blogging as a kind of therapy. It's a way for me to take a moment, to immerse myself in something that feels right. I've been into blogging since the days of Microsoft FrontPage '98, fiddling with code and getting my first taste of programming. But now, it's more than just a hobby; it's my way of journaling for the world to see – something my mother probably wouldn't have approved of, but here I am, doing it anyway.

Last night, a gift from my father brought a flood of memories. My dad has always been generous, sometimes overly so. As a kid, his extravagant gifts made my friends envious. It was all I knew, and I didn't question it. But as I've grown older, I've started to reflect on this pattern and what it truly meant.

My father grew up poor. His dad was a low-wage government worker, and money was tight. I remember my father telling us about how some days, there was enough for ice cream, and other days, there wasn't. He grew up envious of his cousins' more affluent lifestyle. This childhood of wanting but not having drove him to measure success through material things, both for himself and in his role as a father. And it's complicated because, behind this, there was a lot of hidden trauma.

My father's journey to America is a story of resilience and ambition. He left Iran during the revolution at his mother's insistence, seeing better opportunities in the United States. He started working for a successful cousin, which fueled his entrepreneurial spirit. Inspired, he worked tirelessly, though it meant he wasn't around much. We had financial stability, sure, but emotionally, there was a gap.

Now, as I'm walking my own path in fatherhood, I see things in a new light. While I can't say for sure what all my daughter's needs are going to be, I'm focusing on giving her something I didn't have as much of – emotional presence. My dad gave it his all with the tools and understanding he had. And me? I’m trying to build on that, ensuring that I'm there for her, not just in the material sense, but emotionally, being present in her life in a way that truly matters.

In recent events, I've been reflecting more on my father's ways of showing love, the gaps in our relationship, and how I'm shaping my role as a dad. My goal is to blend what my father provided with the emotional presence he couldn't. It's a tall order, but I'm up for the challenge. I love my father deeply, not for the material things he gave, but for his efforts, for his journey.

And so, I'm committed to being there for my daughter in every way she needs me. It's about striking that balance – providing for her materially while also being a constant, nurturing presence in her life. My father's story teaches me, guides me, but it's also up to me to forge my own path in fatherhood.

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