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On Being a Dad

Since it is actually Father's Day, I feel I should say something about it.

You would think that at my age, and considering the fact that my father left this world in 2019, I would not spend a lot of time thinking about him. But that is not the case. I think about him almost every day. I mull, I wonder, I hypothesize, I fume, I recollect, sometimes I even vent. But he has never left me. He is always there, in my subconscious. If you are a guy considering or involved in fatherhood, and reading this, you should think about that.

He was only 19 when he became a father and he was one of those people who should have waited until he was 32. I think that if he had started out as a father at 32, he would have been a Pretty Darn Good one. But at 19, well...not so much. He made a lot of mistakes and did a lot of phycological damage to at least two of his five children. And it was mostly due to a lack of maturity.

I loved my dad. I know he loved me. I know he loved my mother. Armed with that knowledge (which came to me late in life, thanks to my wonderful phycologist, Mary!) I have been able to get past a lot of the anger I carried around for the first 30+ years of my life.

Mostly what I have now is Wishing....I Wish he had been kind and not scary to the little me. I Wish he had laughed and played with me more. I Wish he had not been so angry. I Wish he had not been so strict. I Wish he had known how to listen. I Wish he had been able to be the Daddy I needed....

When I was about 38, I was going on and on to a friend about how upset I was at myself that I was a disappointment to my father. And he asked me, "Shouldn't it be at least as much of a concern to you that he is a disappointment to you, as a father?" And that was the turning point in my relationship with Daddy.

I know this is not the usual "Celebrate You Father" blog. But I am thinking of the younger generation of people that I love. The ones who have not yet started a family. If you are going to be a dad, be a good one. This is the one thing in life that you can do that will actually make a difference in the world. You treasure that little being. You nurture that little soul. Be Kind. Be Loving. Be Gentle. If you choose to take on the responsibility, do it properly and do it well. Fatherhood is not the place to skimp!


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