My Dad grew up in Houston, TX with a golf course for his backyard. Consequently, playing golf became his #1 love and he had quite a knack for it. He was able to walk onto BYU's golf team (#1 in the nation at the time) and his team won the national championship in 1981. Though he got a degree in business, he made golf his career by turning pro. after his college days.
Dream come true.
Except the life of a professional golfer is not a family-friendly one, and my dad had a wife and 3 kids. You only get paid for as well and as often as you play, meaning that you are always on the road, always gone to play in another tournament.
My dad had his dream job doing what he loved, but he loved us even more.
So he stopped playing golf professionally.......
Several years later my dad had a job opportunity to be the golf professional at a ritzy country club in Mexico. His golf knowledge, ability to speak Spanish well, and the fact that he was a great teacher made him a valuable employee and he did a great job running the club's golf program. He loved his job, he loved working in the Mexican culture, and he still having time for his family.
What was meant to be a few year stint in Mexico for our family turned into 9 wonderful years and we loved our life there.
Then my sister entered her teen years and I entered my preteen years. Though we were so familiar with the Mexican culture, we were still Americans, English was our first language, and knowing that we would probably end up going to college and living our adult lives in the United States, my parents began thinking that it would be best to raise their teenagers back in our home country.
My dad once again made the difficult career sacrifice for his family and quit his job to move us back to the United States and to Alaska.
The move was hard at first (imagine American kids going through culture shock by being back in America!), but it was a great move. We went to great schools and had strong support in our church youth groups.
Unfortunately, my dad never did get another "dream job" once we moved here. He's had jobs that he doesn't love but they have supported our family. I often wonder how much he longs for his job back in Mexico and how much he must miss being so heavily involved in the golfing world. He was certainly happy there and I bet if he only had himself to think about, he never would have left.
After finishing school and moving us up to Alaska, Garrett worked with a wonderful chiropractor in his clinic for 2 years. I was honestly surprised when Garrett actually WANTED to move here. He is a southern California boy and towards the end of his schooling, I had started looking for jobs and housing in California because I just always assumed we'd end up back there (which I actually had looked forward to!).
The winter before Garrett graduated, he began entertaining the idea of moving to Alaska. Alaska is a great state to be a chiropractor--people here are open to chiropractic care, insurance companies are much easier to work with in Alaska, and we don't have a state income tax.
Another bonus was that my family lives here. However, I would have been fine living wherever Garrett wanted and I ultimately let it be his decision, especially since I know that Alaska can be a tough place to live.
After weighing the pros and cons and deciding what was most important for our family, Garrett made the decision: Alaska it was!
Surprisingly, the first few winters didn't scare my husband off from Alaska and he began talking about starting his own practice.
Anyone who has ever started their own business knows that it is not an easy or cheap undertaking. We started to weigh our options of how to get Garrett's practice started. Many people have to take out massive business loans to get a practice started and we knew we wanted to avoid that route as much as possible. We'd either have to cut costs on our living or I could go back to work. Garrett was adamant that I be able to stay at home with our kids through the stressful and time-consuming process that is building a practice (and I'm so grateful to him for that!), so our other option was to cut our costs.....which was difficult to do since we really don't spend much money beyond what is required to live.
So we sold a lot of our possessions (including his car) and when that still wasn't enough to get his practice going, our last big expenditure to cut was our rent. Garrett is far from materialistic, but I can't imagine that it was easy for him to sell our belongings and then pack up what we had left, put a lot of it in storage, and then move into someone else's home and rent their upstairs bedrooms for 5 months. The Scoresby family was wonderful to us and became as dear to us as family. They certainly were a blessing and a help as we welcomed Soren into our family while we were living there all while getting Garrett's practice started. Not only did Garrett sacrifice his things and his own home in order for him to get his career going and have me stay at home, but he has worked incredibly long hours 6 days a week and has still found time to work with the Young Men's program in our church. He is one busy guy and has done a lot of sacrificing of his time, comfort, and sleep in the past 8 months all for our little family.
It is often said that motherhood is the ultimate sacrifice of one's life, time, sleep, energy, and selfish desires. It is true. So, so true. So true, in fact, that I think it can be easy for society to go on about mothers as the greatest martyrs and self-sacrificers of the world......and forget about the great fathers who sacrifice and give just as much.
I may have given up my career to be a mom and I may be the one nursing the baby in the middle of the night,
but I am so grateful for the dads who sacrifice their dream jobs, their sleep, their leisure time, their comfort, and the places they'd rather live in order to provide for and do what is best for their families.
Thank you Dad for sacrificing your dream jobs for your family. Without that sacrifice, I wouldn't be who I am today.
Thank you Garrett for sacrificing a life on the beach, your time, possessions, and comforts in order to provide for us and do what is best for our family.
Without those sacrifices, I wouldn't be able to stay at home snuggling my baby boy this morning and teaching the girls how to make paper snowflakes.
I love you both for the fun, laughter, and love you bring into your families, but I also fiercely love you for the precious sacrifices you make daily for your families.
It definitely does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by me.
You are irreplaceable. :)
Happiest Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there.