It's a 2 blog week - after all the first one I wrote is part of the large influence my dad had on me and my love of politics. Maybe he was just good training for how to argue and learn to deflect when the other person starts getting personal to win. Either way the many things that my father shaped in me were a need to know what is going on, to not accept blindly and to remember that we have the right as people to want more. He taught me that no matter how bad it gets we can demand more from the government or replace it. Mostly he taught me to accept that we are owed nothing but opportunities so no need to let the government become our nanny.
Fathers - Dads - Papas oh so many names for them - Mamma tends to be almost universal but the name for the father varies a lot. I admit you are the angst and often the eye roll punch line in many of the talks women have - after all you make that easy. You do not hear so well except for what interests you - the sense of getting something done that is asked of you tends to be on a whole different time measurement than ours - and you are so easily befuddled by where things are and how they function that pretty much have been in the same place and have been handled the same way for a long time.
Fathers - Dads - Papas your presence and your absence has such an influence on our lives. My own father had a lot of things that he just could have done better as a father but he would have needed to admit that he was interested in someone other than him to fix behaviors that affected those around him. My father was a fun guy who taught me to love learning - he never stopped and he never stopped pushing me. My father was a man who lived life in bigger terms and for the pleasure of life. He imparted his love of music, dancing, entertaining, social skills, travelling, sarcasm and humor on to me. He taught me that I do not ever want to be around the down side of that - because when he had that it was not a place he dragged you with him to.
I see my friends who are fathers or the fathers of my son's friends and I am really impressed guys. You still need direction but the love and interest you show your children, your level of involvement is just worth a moment when we all should turn around to say thanks and we love you. I have a good friend who was telling me recently of what a poor father his own dad had been and in the back of my mind I thought 2 things 1) wow your dad missed out on time with a person who is really special and how sad is that 2) you are an amazing father despite him and because of him - you learned what not to do and that is the sign of how amazing you are.
This weekend whether there is a father in your family, whether your father has passed on, or whether yours forgot the importance of being the father he should have been remember these all add up to who we are and have made us better for it. Yes better for it - we are better parents than those who were not, we are as good as those who were. We are part of the lives of children who will go on to do great things. To all the dads, you may ask the obvious of us when you are with the kids but we love you for asking because we know it is because you care to do the right thing.
Happy Father's Day -- I miss the good times with my dad and I applaud the good memories all the dads around me are making with their kids.