I’m a lucky man to be the father of my 17-year old daughter Kekoa.
Her full first name is Kekoaikapu’uwai, which in the Hawaiian language means “Warrior of the Heart”. And let me just say that so far in her young life, she lives up to her name BIG TIME (which her mom and I are VERY happy about!). She challenges me to become a bigger and better version of myself everyday simply because her upbringing feels like such a sacred responsibility to me as a man.
I know that the fears that come up for me about whether or not I’m a good father have their roots in my fear of how best to live my life with integrity as a man. I was raised in a different world. The only thing my father could think of to offer me was what he knew best, which was for me to fit into HIS concept of how to be a man. That was the best and only version of being a father that was taught to him. He had no idea how to support me to develop an authentic interest in my own life, and as a result, I wandered aimlessly for many years to find my True Heart.
Thankfully, Kekoa is developing her own unique voice that dares me to pause, take a deep breath, and stay open to learning about HER WORLD and HER TRUTH. There are many times that I have struggled to suppress those “do-as-I say-‘cause-you’re-the-kid-and-I’m-the-parent” moments that were more about what was in MY best interest rather than what was in HERS.
And so the best role model as a dad that I can think of being for Kekoa (easier said than done) is one where she watches me struggle with my fears and strive to learn how to stand my ground for what I am passionate about and what I feel deeply convicted about in my life. I want her to see me take risks and fail and succeed and fail and succeed so that she will know that she can do the same with her life and be okay. I want her to see me face my insecurities as a man and take a stand for something good, that contributes to our lives on the planet, and to see what kind of man that that makes me in the process.
One way or the other, I know there will be some ways that she will end up emulating me, so I want to give her something of value to emulate, something that can contribute to her happiness, her self-esteem, and her ability to make a contribution to Life. The best way I can think of to do any of that is to confront whatever fears I have inside me that keep me from doing what I know to be true in my heart as a way of teaching her how to do the same for herself.
I see what she has inside her. I see that she has the ability to help make the world a better place to live in. More importantly, I am so proud of the amazing person she already is.
It is truly an honor for me to be Kekoa’s dad.