What Father's Day Means to Me

Posted by Tyson Willis on

What Father’s Day means to me. To me, it is a celebration of my children, not me. It is a day I can sit and reflect on what I have done as a father and be proud of who they have become. All the tears and happiness and hugs are all wrapped up into one day.

When I turned 21, I was bringing Zach home with no idea what I was doing. I remember thinking, “I have to take care of this little human now?”. I may not have known what I was doing but I vowed to be the best father I could be.

A couple years after Zach was born, we welcomed Kenny. I still did not really know what I was doing at this point. I was still young and making many mistakes but through it all, I did what I thought was right, even if in hindsight, it was not.

I waited a few years to welcome the next additions. Chloe joined us and a couple years later, Layla sprang into our lives. What a crazy time. Our lives had many struggles but through it all, we loved each other and that is all we really remember.

So, Father’s Day, to me, is Children’s Day. It is a day for me to celebrate what great people my children have become, and it allows me to look back at everything we have been through and rejoice in all that hard work paying off.

Zach is a year from graduating college and nearing the finish of his Bison career. It was his dream as a little kid to play for NDSU. He worked his tail off and has become part of one of the best football programs in America. But more than that, he is a good person. He takes care of those around him and has a good head on his shoulders.

Kenny recently graduated from Sheyenne High School and is enrolled in the diesel tech program at NDSCS and has an apprenticeship with Titan Machinery. Ever since he was small, he loved working on things. If I ever needed an oil change, he gladly rolled up his sleeves and got messy, so I did not have to. But beyond that, Kenny would give you the shirt off his back and is one of the most selfless people I know.

Chloe is entering 7th grade this fall. You will not find a gentler soul than her. She is constantly trying to please those around her. She has a cat that she loves and one day wants to buy a cat shelter and keep all the cats. She also loves to spend time baking and has developed a line of jelly that we might roll out. Stay tuned.

Then we come to Layla. How do I describe her? Well, the first word that comes to mind is “sass”. But it is a good sass. She is fiery but is also one of the kindest people you will meet. She is the first one to offer standard breakfast in bed on the weekends followed up with an hour in bathroom making sure her makeup is right. She truly keeps me young at heart.

I have had the privilege of reading some of the notes you are dropping to your fathers for the upcoming weekend. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I am not afraid to admit, I got a tear in my eye with many of the notes. Showing your dad how much you mean to him means the world to me. Not in a business sense, but I love seeing the outpouring of love. Some of us dads may be a little rough around the edges, but it is things like that that mean the world to us.

Have a Happy Father’s Day!

Tyson

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