In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated during the first week of September. To commemorate it, 27-year-old Brad Kearns shared a photograph to his parenting Facebook page, DadMum, that quickly went viral.
The photograph shows his tattoos of his first son's handprints on his chest, who was sadly stillborn.
The tattoos are an exact copy of our little boy's hands right down to the actual fingerprints...it would symbolize a cuddle, I thought.
The Facebook post bears a touching message for all fathers.
Do you remember the first time you touched your child's hands? You rubbed your thumb across the top of their fingers as they hold onto yours. You grab their entire hand and hold it in your fist. You give it a little squeeze to let them know that you're there; and you sit in awe of their vulnerability. And at that moment you make your silent promise. A promise to protect them. To care for them. To give them your all. A promise to be the best parent you can be.
He goes on to explain the moment he saw his first son, he became a father, despite the circumstances:
From that day forward I was a dad. The fact that we couldn't take him home with us didn't change a thing. The fact I would never teach him to kick a ball didn't matter. We held his hands and we called him our own. He was the first little boy I ever made that promise to. I remember on the next Father's Day I didn't expect anything. I got a card. I received a few lovely text messages. I was still a dad. It meant the world to me. It made my promise real.
He ends his message by imploring people to reach out to dads of all sorts and to let them know they are appreciated, even if it is a non-traditional example of fatherhood.
If you know a dad, a stepdad, a foster dad, or a family with two dads... Make an effort this Father's Day. Let them know their promise was real. It will mean the world to them too. Happy Fathers Day Dads!
By this point, yes, you should be crying.