I had an odd relationship with my father. He was not a warm fuzzy type and didn't deal particularly well with children. I think he did the best he could and didn't have a great home life himself when he was growing up, so he really didn't know better, but his idea of motivation was sarcasm and criticism, which doesn't work all that well with children. I can't say I felt loved by him when I was growing up-I thought I was a huge disappointment to him really. I loved my father - after all he was the only father I ever knew - but I longed for the kind of father my friends had, who greeted them with hugs and kisses and lots of affection.
Which is one of the things that attracted me to my husband. He was a physically affectionate person even with his friends, and I loved that. I knew that some day he would be the kind of father that I needed so badly when I was young - the kind I wanted for my own children.
And he was. Not only was he a great dad, he's a wonderful grandfather now too. And watching him on Father's Day made me realize I had given my children the greatest gift of all - a wonderful dad. I'm not sure they realize how lucky they've been, but not only is he a great father but he made me a better mother. It was his example that allowed me to learn to be a better parent. I had a wonderful mother as a role model but my husband helped me to learn how to hug freely and love unconditionally, which didn't come naturally to me even with her influence. Now, I see that influence in my children as they parent their own children.
And they know he loves them.