Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Marco Rubio op-ed: America’s Families Need Strong Fathers

This Father’s Day, I’m reminded of the many sacrifices my dad made to give me the chance at a life better than his. I’m also reminded of the smaller moments he and I shared as a father and son. 
I’ll never forget when I was a boy and the doctor told me I had to wear leg braces to correct knee problems. I often refused to put them on. But every day when I refused, the phone would ring and – to my great surprise – on the other end would be Don Shula, head coach of the Miami Dolphins. “If you want to play for me one day,” he’d say, “you’d better put on those braces.”
It didn’t occur to me until years later that, unlike Coach Shula, the man on the phone had a Cuban accent and sounded suspiciously like my dad. 
Funny as that is, it also touches me. It reminds me that my father was more than merely present in my life, he was active, caring and encouraged me to dream. He truly believed that, with love and support, his children would achieve the things he never could. 
Now that I’m a father, I think back on his example and strive to live up to it.
Like most parents in America today, I struggle against the tide of obligations – the competing schedules and collisions of responsibilities – that constantly pushes me away from family life. Yet no matter how late at night or early in the morning my flights between Florida and Washington have to be, I make it a priority to be a regular and present force in my kids’ lives. 
I do this not only because I enjoy the time I spend with them, but because every indicator available today shows that the presence of a father is vital to a child’s well-being and future success.
Read the rest of the op-ed HERE.

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