Monday, January 26, 2009

The Good Father Caveat

I have often bitched and moaned about the sorry men my friends have married. Hell, it is part of my header. While pointing out the shortcomings of other people often makes for better blogging, I feel I must give due credit to the exemplary fathering* I witnessed this weekend.

There were several fathers who came to the party we threw this weekend. These dads helped their daughters decorate princess crowns. They hung out in the playroom, helping the kids up and down the slide. One of the dads even wore a crown around the house to the delight of his daughters.

When it came time for the cutting of the cake, I engaged one of the dads in the unwrapping of the dessert plates. I realized I needed an extra pair of hands. This guy went to the kitchen, grabbed the ice cream scoop and stood by my side dispensing ice cream to the girls with a smile.

It was so refreshing to see a group of dads act like fathers. There was none of this not my job attitude I see with so many of the husbands of women I have met. The ones whose wives do all the diaper duty, day or night. That do all the feeding. All the bathing. The day-time, fun-time dads who leave all the night time parenting to the mother under a million thinly-veiled excuses.

In honor of these three guys who so impressed me this weekend, I officially induct them into my secret society:

This secret society is for fathers who are fathers not only in name, but in action. As my bastardized Latin so succinctly puts it Father In Sincerity. A father from the heart.

These are the dads who keep the kids occupied so you can take a shower in peace. Who sleepily roll out of bed to change a diaper even though you offer to do it yourself. Who read stories to their children and makes silly voices for the characters. Who hug their sons when they cry and kiss their tears with no suggestion of a recriminating tone. Who feed the kids dinner for you because if you see one more piece of macaroni sail off of the chair onto the floor you are going to lose your shit.

These are the actions of a father. Of a man who wants to partake in the lives of their children, not sit back and watch childhood slip away. To the three men who obviously enjoyed their daughters so much this weekend, welcome to Pater Ex Animo. I look forward to telling more of your stories.

*No, not that kind of fathering.


Blue Momma said...

As much as I like to bitch about my hubby's imperfections, he is one of those dads you are talking about and I am so appreciative of it. I know one day Punkin will have tons of cool memories to look back on and I don't think I could ask for much more!

Not that I dont' ask for more - but you know what I mean!

Anonymous said...

See? There are a few of us who do it right.

I took my daughter shopping at Kohls the other night for a new outfit for an upcoming father/daughter dance. Only the coolest of dads would spend two hours helping his daughter try on outfit after outfit after outfit and not get bored.

I was out of my league, but I had a ball. I will be posting about it soon . . .

Can I steal your badge now . . . ?

RiverPoet said...

Yeah, "Pete" was that kind of dad. In fact, he was Mr. Mom for a few years while my job had me traveling. It's always refreshing to see fathers actually seem engaged in their children's lives.

Peace - D

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@Blue Momma: I do know what you mean. Asking for more keeps us all sharp, right? LOL

@Tysdaddy: Taking your daughter shopping and enjoying it definitely earns you the right to steal the badge. No making her feel guilty for taking too long or whining at her to just PICK one already. You are a good man, Charlie Brown. Just give me credit for my badge and society. That's all I ask.

@RiverPoet: Isn't it, though? And I'll bet your kids have great memories of the days when he was Mr. Mom.

Gypsy said...

That's heartening. :)

Toasty said...

My hubs does it right. Shit, sometimes he does it MUCH better, but I won't go THERE!! I just linked to you on my last post, which very well may be my last post on myinnerteen. I want to do things a little differently (a la NATUI) and be able to post pics of my girls. So I'm changing it up a bit. New blog coming soon!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

The Ty-man deserves this award. He goes out of his way to make sure I stay sane, to play with the kids, let me sleep, anything. He's more than I could have ever hoped for in a father for my kids! :)

A Free Man said...

Can I join?

Patois said...

It's a great thing to give credit where credit is due. Go REAL fathers!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

I love that a situation presented itself to you, so that you could see the good guys out there - they do exist!

By all accounts, this sounds like it was one faboo Princess Party -well done, party planner!

Mister Pete said...

Hopefully, these deadbeat dads you know will come around to see the light and joy of participating in the lives of their offspring. It would be great for you to know more of us dads, and the moms that we're married to, so as to get a proper statistical perspective. Please add me in.