Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 5, 2016

TO: My Graduating Child FROM: DAD SUBJECT: I’m Sorry

Graduation time has come. The time that I thought was so far away is now here and it seemed like it arrived in the blink of an eye. It is one of those times that a father puts behind their tough guy act. It is a time, whether privately or not, that tears show up. Maybe they run down your cheeks or maybe they just well up in your eyes but they come. Don’t give me this crap that I am a man and I don’t have tears because I will call bull crap on every single one of you. It does not make you weak, it does not make you a sissy, and it does not mean you are less of a man. What it means is that you are a father. You are someone who has raised this child from birth to the age of 18 hoping and praying you have taught them enough about right from wrong, being respectful, being a kind and loving person, and so many other things to prepare them for leaving the home and becoming an adult. But there is also something bigger and heavier weighing down your heart during this time. It is not the worry of our child’s future but instead it is the past. It is all the things that there wasn’t enough time for because time, life, and even we got in the way of it. So here is where a father’s apology letter starts;

I am sorry that I didn’t change more diapers, I didn’t spend more alone time feeding you, I didn’t hear all your coos, or see all your smiles.
I am sorry that I didn’t read more bed time stories, have more play dates, or snuggle more with you.
I am sorry that I didn’t hold and carry you in my arms enough.
I am sorry that I didn’t watch you ride your bike more, go on more walks, or listen to all of your stories.
I am sorry that I didn’t make it to every school function, or couldn’t help you on every school project.
I am sorry that I said things like “not now” or “in a minute” and then forgot about it.
I am sorry that when you were hurt or hurting I couldn’t take away every single bit of pain.
I am sorry for the times I seemed too hard on you or was too soft on you.
I am sorry I didn’t hug you enough or tell you I love you enough.
I am sorry I didn’t spend more time with you everyday.
I am sorry I didn’t show you my love, happiness, and the joy of being your father more than I did.

The bottom line is that I could keep going and going. Life, time, and ourselves got in the way, something that we can’t go back and change and even if we could those things would still get in our way. We as fathers will live with this for the rest of our lives. Even if we could have spent every single waking breath with you from the time you were born until the day you leave our house, the truth is even that would not have been enough time. Even then we would have been sorry for all of these same things.

I guess the point of this is so that you know even if we missed things or messed up, it is not that we wanted to or that we just forgot about it but instead we choose to live with those mistakes inside. What good does that do? None! So that is why I am writing you this. Holding these things in just slowly rots us away while sharing them with you let’s us release the shame and guilt, and also allows you to know that we are sorry for them and that they never went unnoticed. These are everyday life things that we as fathers mess up on. Our fathers did, yours did, and one day your children’s father will.

These are the things that maybe even you don’t think of but late at night in bed, a car ride alone, or even when we are right there enjoying time with you, we do. We always do and will see the mistakes we made, the time we lost, and will forever regret those missed opportunities in this life.

I wish we lived a fairy tale life where we could spend every single second with you but since we don’t we will just have to let the memories of the hugs we did get, the “I love you’s” that were said, and the time we did spend together comfort us and rise above our faults. I know mothers are a lot better at the emotional part and saying their feelings but today it is your father’s turn. You deserve to hear the emotional side of this from a man, your father. So along with the “I’m sorry” there is this:

There has been no greater joy in this life than raising you. It is hard work and there are ups and downs while raising a child but the joyous moments far outweigh any of the negative ones. The joy of parenthood and the love that comes with that fills our heart. It overpowers and out shines anything negative in our life. I want you to know we love you dearly and that we are so proud of you and the person you have become. My hopes and prayers are that you achieve everything that you can in your life and live a happy life full of love, the same kind of love that I have enjoyed by having you in my life.

I love you,




  1. Beautifully said! Your children are so blessed to have a father that loves and cares as much as you do and is not afraid to show them!

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