With Father’s Day upon us, I’ve spent some time trying to put together a piece about what makes a “father” become a “dad”. I’ve scribbled down some poetic mumbo-jumbo. I’ve come up with some passable ideas. But the more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became, wondering…what is the definition of a good father?
And then I realized something.
Nowhere in the title, does “Father’s Day” have the word “Good” in it. Nowhere is it stated that Father’s Day is only a celebration of those who are “good”….because after all, who is to decide what qualifies as a good dad?
Sometimes…a man is simply doing the best he can do within the realm of his own circumstance…ability…or intellectual limits. Some people simply cannot meet our expectations. Sometimes ‘good’ is really just ‘good enough’….and one man’s mediocre is another man’s best.
For the dad who’s not naturally nurturing, but finally tells his son he loves him one quiet night on the phone after years have gone by…and it was worth waiting for.
For the ‘man’s man, who wasn’t there much when his kids were small, but awkwardly holds his new grand-daughter in awe and wonders how he missed this the first time around.
For the single dad who was thrown in…sink or swim…and keeps bouncing off the bottom but is flapping his arms as fast as he can.
For the ‘moms new boyfriend’ who doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into but he likes the way that little guy looks at him out of the corner of his eye and wonders if he can trust this one…and it makes him want to make this work.
For the guy who’s never really done anything right in his life…who screws up time and time again and doesn’t know his kids…but just knowing they are out there somewhere makes him want to be a better man.
For the dad who didn’t have to be…and stepped in anyway.
For the dad who knew his kid’s lives would be better…if he just stayed away.
For the man who works a double shift and misses the game…because providing the dollars that paid for the uniform is important too…and it’s all he knows how to do.
For the one who doesn’t offer a hug, but gently punches a small arm as it passes…and the child knows it’s a ‘love tap’.
For the father who doesn’t know he’s a father to the daughter who wonders why he left.
To the dad who lost his kids because the drugs got ahold of him…And for the dad who took them in and called them his own.
For the father who by some flip of the coin drew the long stick and manages to do most everything just right.
And for the daddy’s who give their lives, so that others might have a chance to live.
Happy Father’s Day!