Obama on “Being The Father I Never Had”

Jun 8, 2011 3:23pm

ABC's Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

With Father’s Day just around the corner on June 19th, the President has penned an essay detailing how the absence of his own father inspired him to be a better parent, saying “I always felt his absence.”

“I grew up without a father around. I have certain memories of him taking me to my first jazz concert and giving me my first basketball as a Christmas present. But he left when I was two years old,” Obama writes in an essay to be published in the upcoming edition of People Magazine.  

He explains that while he and his sister were “lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents,” he always felt his father’s absence and “wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life.”

“I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I've tried so hard to be there for my own children,” Obama writes.

The President admits that he hasn’t always been the perfect father and that time away from his family has been difficult, especially during the rigors of the 2008 campaign.  

“That's not to say I've always been a perfect dad. I haven't. When Malia and Sasha were younger, work kept me away from home more than it should have. At times, the burden of raising our two daughters has fallen too heavily on Michelle. During the campaign, not a day went by that I didn't wish I could spend more time with the family I love more than anything else in the world,” he writes.

“But through my own experiences, and my continued efforts to be a better father, I have learned something over the years about what children need most from their parents.”

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