Family Love

family love article image

I am truly humbled to be writing my first column for The Mom & Caregiver magazine. I hope to give you, the reader, an honest voice of one dad’s journey through fatherhood – the toughest and most rewarding experience in a man’s life.

It’s New Year’s Eve. I finally get to sink into a comfy chair and savour my already warm beer as I watch my kids playing with their cousins. My large and loud extended family members are wrapped up in running around with Luca (our three-year-old) and playing peek-a-boo with Nico (our one-year-old). They’re singing, hugging, eating and laughing out loud together as though they’ve been in each other’s lives for years. In fact, my family just met our kids two days ago, after our 14-hour flight to visit them here in Uruguay. With over 9,000 km between us normally, I can’t help but be amazed at how easily love comes between them all.

I have wonderful childhood memories of my own family trips and of my extended family here. We’ve made a point of visiting every two to three years and this was the first visit with both kids. A small part of me wasn’t sure how that would pan out since there are no other kids in this group and Luca’s second and third cousins are over 20 years older than him. My fears subsided almost immediately when we arrived and Luca was received with a new soccer ball at the airport. Within minutes, grown-ups were kicking the ball around the terminal and Luca was chasing after them, all smiles.

The rest of the holiday was wonderful. I was elated to see how easily my extended family embraced, took care of, and loved my kids and how my kids opened their own little hearts to allow a whole bunch of new faces in. Maybe it’s a cultural thing and there’s the expectation that we are to treat all family a certain way. Maybe my kids sense that they are safe and it’s ok to mimic the love I show for my family. Maybe the affection my family has for me is automatically transferred to my progeny. Or maybe I’m overthinking this and it’s much simpler.

Who you might identify as part of your family will vary but the one common, undeniable thread is love. Love is founded, nourished and blossoms when it’s surrounded by a loving family. And it’s our top job as parents to love our kids and encircle them with others to share that love.


Frank Emanuele is a proud father of two boys, a special education teacher, and a director of Dad Club London.


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