The best dad I know is fatherless. Not by choice, but by circumstance. His first one exited at age 3, the second one walked out when he was 27.
Chris doesn’t have a dad to talk to on the back porch. Or join for a “quick” game of golf. He doesn’t get lectured or advised. Or even called on his birthday.
He’s leading us.
Without a guide.
And yet, despite his messed-up models, I can’t think of a better example.
Chris makes the kids’ breakfasts, packs their lunches, and prepares our dinners.
He goes on field trips. And volunteers for forest days.
He takes out splinters and cleans up spills.
He teaches our kids to wear helmets, jump curbs, to say sorry, to season everything, to use their words, and to notice others.
He listens to their bed-time ramblings and turns up the volume when they start to dance.
He buys them new shoes when his own are beyond worn-out.
He gives. And gives some more.
When our six-year-old begged for a haircut and our schedule kept conflicting with the barbershop’s, Chris offered to cut it himself.
Mind you, he had never cut hair. He had never been taught the skills or been given the tools. He only knew what a good haircut looked like.
After 45 minutes and one major meltdown of “It’s-too-long… I-look-like-a-girl ”Chris went back to the drawing board, er bathroom, and tried again.
Duke loved it.
And I loved him.
Not having a good example does’t mean we’re doomed to the same pattern. It just means that we have to create our own.
So, to all the dads who are trying to figure it out,
We Need You.
To the dads who know spending time with the kids is as valuable as spending time at the office,
We Love You.