I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers whether they are stepfathers, or biological fathers or just spiritual fathers. — T. D. Jakes
I like to think that another name for a good father is “Dad.” There are many men who are fathers but not always dads.
To be a dad isn’t easy. My husband is a fabulous dad to our four children, and we have a son and son-in-law who are both wonderful dads, too. I’ve known many other men who been loving, caring dads–and some who couldn’t be–and I bet you have, too. Of course, some dads are works-in-progress, because, let’s face it, Dad-dom is never easy. But today we celebrate them, too, because they’re trying.
More than anything a great dad makes time to enjoy his children and especially to listen — really listen — to them. Last week Michael told me about a touching podcast he heard. A daughter couldn’t stop asking her dad big questions about life, questions like “Where did we come from?” and “Is there a God?” The father, who wanted nothing more than to be completely accurate, researched each one and wrote what he believed to be the best answers. Then he shared them with her. Later he discovered that really all she wanted was to tell him about her life and have him listen.
Our son, as busy as he is with his career, tries to spend as much time with his two sons as possible, reading to them, taking them to swim lessons, the zoo, to museums, to visit us (yeah!). Our son-in-law is the same. Last week we went to the dance recital of our granddaughter — she was fabulous! — and were stunned that he sat through both of the three plus hour recitals, even though his daughter was on stage about five minutes for each performance. No other name for it. That’s a dad.
Dad’s don’t often realize how important they are in the life of their children, but I have no doubt that the love, strength, and passion they pass on, beautiful even if imperfect, is absolutely vital for their future.
So give the dads you know a big hug today — or a call or email or text — congratulating them for being good fathers. And if you can’t do that? If you can, thank them for whatever they did right. You’ll both feel better for it.