How to be a Dad: Caped Crusaders need not apply
Welcome to Father’s Day.
The day when Daddy will be praised as if he descended from the heavens.
All the toilet seats that weren’t put down will be forgotten; the honey-do list put aside.
Today he is king and can do no wrong. Superman has nothing on him.
Bah humbug I say. (Wrong holiday I know but stick with me I’m going somewhere with this.)
Dads aren’t infallible.
They make mistakes.
In fact, the best ones make them time and time again. It’s not a lack of mistakes but an ability to realize they’ve made them and try to do better that makes them amazing dads (not to mention fantastic human beings).
We do them no justice when we pretend that they need to be anything more.
It’s hard not to buy into the hype of tender-hearted -always- perfect Hallmark dads.
But let’s try to remember that no capes are necessary to be a great dad.
All you need for that is a dedication to the job you were given, a commitment to keep at it when it’s hard and a willingness to put aside your wants and needs from time to time to make sure your child gets some of theirs.
Oh, and give love.
Lots of it.
Do it through actions, words, raised voices and wrung hands. It doesn’t matter if it comes in the form of gentle backpats during a “manly” hug, tickle fights, baseball throwing, tea-party attending or braided hair wrangling. Just do it as best you can and often.
While there are no million dollar cheque payoffs or sporty cars waiting for you when you’ve done your job and while many nights you may go to bed to the angry pouts of kids who won’t get it until their older, know that it’s worth it.
Know that one day they’ll turn around and see that you aren’t just a dad you’re a man. One who is irreplaceable as the apple of their eye and who has taught them everything they need to know so that they too can one day be a dad or choose a great dad for their kids.
Do “dad” right and there’s a joy there that can’t be bottled or sold.
I’ve seen it in the eyes of my husband when one of our boys spontaneously expresses his adoration. I’ve seen it in the eyes of my father when one of us grown kids does the same.
Being a dad isn’t easy but when a man puts his heart into it it’s, by far, one of the most beautiful things to have in your life.
And while I’m not a dad, I know this: If what I’m witnessing is even slightly as good as it looks from the outside, you guys are the luckiest people on the planet.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you trying your best to be great dads and especially to the two in my life that have shown me exactly how it’s done.