People Magazine has a special Father’s Day essay from President Barack Obama, where he speaks about his own father’s absence.

Barack Sr. left when the now-United States President was only two years old.

Barack Jr. says that he was raised by a “wonderful” mother and grandparents, but wondered what it would have been like if his father was more involved. “It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me,” says Barack in the essay, “and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.”

He admits there’s more work to be done – saying that during his 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.”

The full essay comes out in this Friday’s edition of People.

Sauce: People