Celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday is essential to focusing on their critical role in our children’s lives. We all need to make sure we embrace fathers daily and value their importance! I have experienced first hand two extraordinary Fathers: my own dad, Kurt Berlin and my husband, David Pion-Berlin.
I was raised by an extraordinary Dad who has challenged me to be a caring, responsible and contributing member of our society. He still practices law in DC at 85 years old and provides me with valuable input and support (even when I don’t ask) in my role as Mom and as President and CEO of Parents Anonymous® Inc. He coined and has lived our family slogan: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” But first and foremost he has given me unconditional love and support—being there no matter what: when I crashed the family car, when I worried about my kid’s behavior, and even when I didn’t know how to help him with critical health issues he faces today. He’s emotional, boisterous, and highly intelligent and has shown me that “fire in the belly” we all need to be valuable parents and community leaders! As a refugee from Nazis, he fled as a teenager, endured much hardship and has thrived. Now his only complaints revolve around aging and wishing he were 20 years younger so he could get around easier.
My husband, David, is a superb Dad who has shared equally in raising our two wonderful children. His love and support has modeled the ideal Dad: not afraid of changing diapers especially the stinky ones and doing the late night feedings when the kids were just babies; reading 5 books at bedtime (when I would only read one); horsing around for hours on end; listening to “their” music and appreciating it; practicing Spanish and helping the kids with algebra and geometry homework; reviewing and editing college papers; and modeling a successful career as a scholar and politically active citizen who cares about what happens in America. When people would try and diminish his role, David would always defend himself by emphasizing his importance as Dad not in place of my role as Mother but as a distinct and important partner in the parenting journey. We worked out early on who was good at what and share all parenting responsibilities. Even as our oldest has become a young man with a budding film career and we are preserving the teenage years of our daughter, David always expresses love, support and interjects humor that makes him an exceptional Father and mate to me!