We dads don’t always just stumble through life like TV fathers do.
Well, we do stumble. There’s no doubt about that. Often, we get through because we’re fathers better than if we were just men.
Machisimo aside, we have to know when to be strong, and when to be sensitive. We mess this up a lot. We dads have to know when we can actually help our kids when they really need it, and we have to recognize those times when accepting help is as manly as it gets.
I had to become the patriarch of my own family in my 30s when my dad lost his battle with Leukemia at age 49.
There are times, though, when I swear his presence is felt. I love that. Only one of my girls ever met my dad, but he lives on in all three. And in me.
Sometimes, being a good dad is being a good dad to those who aren’t even your kids. Even if no one notices, even if it isn’t apparent in the moment, it’s good karma. And you never know who might be learning a lesson by your actions.
And to know his place.
It’s often not easy. This world presents its fair share of perils to the alpha male and his cubs. Some threats are huge and unexpected; other threats are silent, coming from places a father can only put his heart and soul into protecting against.
There are no report cards for dads, and every day, if you look at it that way, will be filled with failures and a series of wrong plays called.
But when the final whistle sounds, no matter what, I feel like I’ve done something right. That the universe looks upon me a little more favorably as a dad, than when I was just a dude. Because becoming a dad to three girls has taught me more about being a man than anything I’ve ever experienced.