Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What is a Dad?

In order to fully understand this journey I am taking on "Life of a New Dad" we probably better understand exactly what is a dad. From my observation Dad's can take many shapes and sizes. There is the animated dad best represented by our yellow beer swilling friend Homer Simpson. There is also the TV dad represented by hundreds including my favorite Al Bundy. There are even science fiction dads, in tune with the force, like Darth Vader. Of course us real dads don't practice our parenting skills inside the TV. Even so, something must tie us all together. What makes us all Dad's whether real or imagined.

Does a dad have to watch the weather channel every morning or the news every night? Is he required to wear a tie every once in a while or should he wear work boots and a hard hat? Does a dad know everything or is he just full of hot air? Should a dad play sports or fix cars? Can a dad play video games or is he too serious for that? Can he be fashionable or does he have to be stuck in a fashion time warp?

Obviously we all know that none of those things can make you a dad. At the same time all of them are allowed. We must look further than our outer appearance or hobbies to define a dad. Webster's dictionary defines dad by saying see father. After turning the virtual page we can find that the same dictionary defines father as a man who has begotten a child. Webster may be the foremost authority on the meaning of English words, but this definition doesn't do it for me. There are many men out there who have begotten a child then left the child soon after. It takes a lot more than that to be a dad. I think to be a dad you have to love your child with all your heart and take an active part in their life every day. Think about it. Even Darth Vader loved his child enough to give his own life to save him from the forces of evil. This from probably the greatest villain of all time. How can a child expect anything less from us regular dads.


WeaselMomma said...

Dad's are Heroes, bad guys, wardens, teachers, buddies, mentors and larger than life. They are pillars and safe havens, protectors and avengers. They are the heavy and the softy. They are the example that sons look up to when trying to become men. Come join to interact with other Dads (and a few Moms) for a great forum and community of parenting bloggers. Tell 'em I sent ya!

Super Mega Dad said...

Great post! Really hits home.

I like to think of myself as a mix between Darth Vader and Homer Simpson. :)

Otter Thomas said...

WeaselMomma: I joined a week or two ago but I haven't had time to use the community much yet.

Super Mega Dad: I am glad you enjoyed. The thought of someone being a mixture of Homer and Darth Vader made me laugh out loud.