What it Takes to be a Father

Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad. 
~Author Unknown

This is according to what I’ve  observed of  my own dad over the years. ( FYI: The “little one” in the list is me.)

A real father:

  • Swallows their pride and faces the stench of a baby’s body waste while cleaning up and mastering the tie of the diaper (ah hem…the cloth, not the plastic ones you dump and exchange for another).
  • Doesn’t mind the public embarrassment of baby’s food gushed out all over him like a Picasso painting. He’s only glad it didn’t end up in his mouth.
  • Reads bedtime stories to the little one even though he’s weary and tired from work.
  • Doesn’t mind staying up hours upon hours with little one when it cries until it falls right to sleep.
  • Teaches little one to pray and the importance of prayer.
  • Volunteers to take the little one to their first day of school and sits with them in their classroom.
  • Praises the little one’s art handiwork even though the scribbles are unrecognizable.
  • Combs and dresses the little one’s hair for church, even though mom had to redo it again.
  • Never forgets little one’s birthday and other events in little one’s life.
  • Always showers little one with gifts either for birthdays or Christmas even though father seems to think newspaper wrapping is just as cost-effective as any other wrapping paper.
  • Disciplines little one out of love and never out of anger.
  • Takes great care of little one when they caught measles (even if it meant catching the disease himself.)
  • Doesn’t reveal how nervous he is (when he is!) when teaching little one to drive.
  • Reassures little one it’s a lesson learned despite little one getting a speeding ticket and father’s insurance goes up.
  • Reminds little one over and over again of the “birds and the bees” story when little one decides to date.
  • Puts up with little one’s cat mess, after wishing he’d gotten a fish.
  • Embraces little one with hugs and kisses when they get accepted into college.
  • Always has a camera in hand to capture the candid moments, even though little one prefers taking posed pictures.
  • Supports little one when they’ve changed majors in college, even though he never knew such a degree existed. 
  • Drops little one hints of how wonderful being a grandfather would be.
  • Saves every birthday, anniversary, holiday card little one sends him.
  • Seems to always have time to talk with little one on the phone no matter where he is.
  • Forgives and still loves little one, even though little one unconsciously forgot to wish dad happy father’s day this morning. 

Now, every father is different, but these are a few examples of what my dad was like and what he did for me and my family. To this day I still think he’s the best dad I could ever have; I continue to learn from him and tremendously respect him because he’s really done a lot for me.

A real father shows love unselfishly, spends time with his family, seeks ways to help his children grow and develop to the best of their potential and willingly provides even if the funds are low, and he’s also there for his family and remains with the family despite obstacles.

This Father’s Day, tell your dad, if he’s still alive, how much you love him. If you never knew your father or grew up without one, tell the man figure in your life how much you really appreciated him being there in your life. If you never had any man figure in your life, then thank the Lord for the life given you and pray you become a great parent or parent-to-be. A little appreciation, especially to dad or to that father figure, goes a long way. He might not ask for it, but believe me, men (in general) love positive comments, it builds their ego 🙂 but more importantly it shows you care.

Now, I just wish they’d have a Children’s Day to celebrate–I’d like to be shown appreciation, too :).


  1. slamdunk · June 21, 2010

    An excellent list of what a good father should be willing to do. I would also add: “be willing to learn how to fix a little girl’s hair when mom is unavailable for such a duty.” I had no idea how to do it, but knew I better learn how to make family life easier.

  2. slamdunk · June 21, 2010

    Oh and I in response to a previous comment you made–I am still on vacation, but there is a little time at night to read some of the excellent blogs out there. Keep up the good writing.

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