The Heart Of A Dad


TV_dadsWhat makes a good dad?

I went Father’s Day card shopping this week, and for the millionth time I thought to myself, “I should be a greeting card writer.” I couldn’t possibly be any worse at creating cards than the people who made the crap I sifted through for nearly an hour.

Do these people HAVE fathers? Do they speak to them? Do they know ANYTHING about them?

I am a fan of dads. I have a dad. I’m married to a dad. I know a few others.

I feel I can say with confidence that the majority of the dads I know fall somewhere in between the tie-wearing, golfing, fishing, tight-ass emotionally detached stereotype and the beer-drinking, crude joke telling, flatulence-filled handymen that are represented in the majority of these cards.

There seems to be a one-size- fits-all approach to Father’s Day, and I think it’s really unfair. Dads are multi-dimensional. They aren’t Ward Cleaver and they aren’t Al Bundy. They are so much more than that.

So, here is my tribute to the dads I know. I hope I don’t miss anyone.



To the men who get up early every day to sit in traffic and spend 8-10 hours in an office to provide for their families

To the men who work the nightshift and still try to function during the day because that’s when their kids are awake

To the men with physically taxing jobs that sap them of their energy and strength by the end of the day

To the men who work from home so they can send their kids off to school and be there when they step off the bus in the afternoon

To the men who serve in the military and miss so many of the big moments in order to fulfill their duty

To the men who rearrange their schedules to be at as many sports practices, dance recitals, doctor’s appointments and school conferences as possible

To the men who ache for the flexibility to do that, but can’t

To the men who walk in the door ( instead of heading to the bar or some other refuge) knowing that before they can take their coat off  someone in their household is going to dump a list of problems and/ or chores on them

To the men who know that they deal better with all those chores and/or issues once they’ve had a chance to let off steam at the bar or the gym or the driving range

To the men who play catch with their kid or kick around a ball from the time they can walk

To the men who sit with their kids and read them stories

To the men who do it  themselves

To the men who know when a job is best left to an expert

To the men with hormonal daughters that leave them baffled but still sit and listen to their girls in hopes of understanding

To the men with sons they don’t know how to connect with, but they keep trying

To the men who don’t get to see their kids every day

To the men who have to see their kids all day, every day

To the men who have come out on the short end of a custody battle but keep fighting

To the men who have stopped fighting so there can be peace

To the men who do it all on their own

To the men who have lost a child and will never be the same

To the men who lie awake at night wondering and dreaming about who their baby will grow up to be

To the men who lie awake at night wondering how their baby grew up so fast

To the men who didn’t have a father to emulate so they’re figuring it all out as they go

To the men who had a great father and want to live up to their legacy

To the men who know whatever kind of father they want to be, it’s nothing like the father they had

To the men who worry they aren’t doing it right but don’t realize their self-examination is a strong indicator they are on the right track

To the men who’ve made mistakes and owned them

To the men who show up, who are in their kids’ corner, who push when it’s necessary to push, but still have a shoulder to cry on when needed

To the men who are strong for their families even when they are afraid

To the men  who love their kids in the best way they know how…






4 thoughts on “The Heart Of A Dad”

  1. What?! No farting dad’s? No dad’s asleep in a chair in front of a flatscreen with one hand in his pants? THANK YOU!
    And, here’s to the Stepdads navigating between blended families and expectations with patience and grace despite the inherent awkwardness and easy misunderstandings, and yet they persisted – supporting and caring and being there. ❤️

  2. Best EVER!!! And I agree about the greeting card issue. Not QUITE as ridiculous as sympathy cards but very very close!!!

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