Saturday, June 18, 2011

Is It Cliche To *BE* A Father?

We've all heard the jokes.

We've heard the country music songs like "Cleaning This Gun" by Rodney Atkins or "She's In Love With The Boy" by Trisha Yearwood.

Unfortunately we've also heard the statistics about how many kids grow up without a father.

And I guess that's what bothers me so much. I've got two young daughters. Scares the crap out of me to be honest. It's hard work. It's frustrating. It's overwhelming sometimes. But my wife and I love them dearly and would do anything we could for them.

I don't want to be crude, but we all learned in biology class that to "father" a child merely requires the exchange of some bodily fluids between a male and a female and around nine months later out pops junior.

But "to be a father" is different. It's more than just sex. It's a verb. "To be" a father requires the same amount of commitment as it does "to be" a doctor. And just like doctors, we are continually practicing.

Sometimes we get it wrong. Hopefully, most of the time we get it right.

Sometimes we are so focused on the big corporate dinner with the important client that we forget about the tea party with our little princess.

Sometimes we have a bad day at work, but when we walk in the front door and you see your child's face light up and she runs to you and throws her arms around your neck... oh man, that's the good stuff right there.

I just hope that your child is running towards you in love as you walk in the door and not running away from you in fear. Both are powerful emotions that can shape your child's future. And in my opinion the only thing worse than having your child fear you is a child that doesn't care one way or the other. Fear and the scars that caused it can be overcome with sincere love. Indifference and apathy are harder to deal with.

So I guess what I'm saying is... If you are going to be a father then actually be one. Be there for the tea parties and the little league games... be there for the bedtime stories and the scraped knees... be on the couch next to your kids as they do their homework... be at the dinner table talking to them about their day even though they've told you the same story four times already.

Because if they can't count on you to be there when they are little talking about the small stuff, they probably won't come to you later to ask for your input or help dealing with the big stuff.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great reminder. Quite fitting today. :-)


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