Getting personal on Father’s Day…

I don’t like to get personal on the blog outside of my passion for policy and stuff but I thought this might be enjoyable for me Father’s Day brings a lot of thoughts and memories to me. I am a dad. I had a dad. I think dads are important. In reverse order here we go.

Dads are important

I think dads are indeed important and that it doesn’t matter the gender of the child having a dad on the scene is a positive. Now it has to be understood that scumbag dads do exist and I’ve seen more than anyones fair share of this reality. I don’t count these in the equation other than to point out that a bad dad is worse than no dad and no dad is bad and sad.

Now dispensing with the Cat and the Hat rhyming game let me just say why I think a dad is important. They offer guidance and support. They represent a sense of safety,stability and nobility. They teach you about life and love and commitment. They help you be the person you are and will be.

I had a dad

And he kind of sucked at the job!  I can try to be fair that he was a conflicted man with his priorities put in order by forces he didn’t fully control. Hell his dad sucked and his childhood did too. That said though when a man decides to take on the responsibility of being “dad” he needs to step up and be all in. The selfishness of the bachelor or other type of mook has no place in the family man setting. This is something my dad never got. Boss pissing you off? Quit! Ummm kids need a home and food dad quitting was kind of off the handle huh?!? That’s a scenario that played out in my childhood leading to divorce. Yeah there was physical shit going on too and I’d be lying if I didn’t say the memory of being strangled near the point of unconsciousness at age 6 wasn’t one of the deepest seared in memories of my psyche. That’s not to say that stuff was a constant in fact I did take away some good lessons from my dad. Although he was guilty more than once of pissing away a good job I also watched him do some of the lowliest,shittiest jobs just to make grocery money. At those times it was evident his comfort and sometimes safety were irrelevant to him in light of his families needs. Another lesson I learned from him was that nobody,NOBODY gets to fuck with your kids (his own lunacy apparently exempted). I know of a number of times other peoples lives were actually on the line for hurting me or my siblings. Rage is an awesome thing to watch when it isn’t directed at you. It also served a lesson that temper control is one of those responsibility traits a good father looks to foster,a dad in jail doesn’t help anyone. One of the finales of my relationship with my dad was threatening, with total earnest, to kill him. The look in his eyes that day embodied a bizarre twist on the lines of Harry Chapins Cat’s in the Cradle.

My dad died alone and with the inane irony life throws at you his parting gift to me was funds from a lawsuit I had no idea about. A guy that left me poor most of my childhood ended up paying off a couple of my bills and establishing an investment account for my own kids.

I am a dad

I am a father of two great kids. I have had the pure joy of feeling what it is like to see them born. I was amazed to feel the unconditional love,dependency and trust that only a baby can thrust upon you and leave you smiling as if you won the lottery. I’ve had the good times and the frustrating times. I’ve had moments when I have had flashbacks to my childhood when one of them say something to me,usually with a “why” attached to it somewhere. I have had cemented within me the feelings and thoughts of what it is to be a dad. It is a job I take with a seriousness and dedication that not to brag exceeds human expectations.

I am who I am because of my dad and because I am a dad. Happy Father’s Day 2013.




  1. Rutherford says:

    So many perpetuate the “sins of the father” onto their own kids. It is to your everlasting credit that you have not — and quite touching that you can recognize the worth in a Dad who probably did the best he could do within his limitations.
    Bravo on an excellent post.

  2. Raji says:

    I think the concept of the role of the father in the family dynamics has changed over the years albeit for the better.

  3. Alfie says:

    Thanks. I really get racked up by that song. Its a conscious effort to avoid lacking good parenting. It is a job and an adventure.

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