On the wall above the kitchen table in my childhood home hung a framed sign that read “Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” I read that sign so many times and didn’t understand it for years. I wondered, How could my father not be my dad, or how could my dad not be my father? I couldn’t fathom this idea, as my father is someone special.
Once I learned more about the birds and the bees (in other words, biology and reproduction), I *got* it. We use these words “father” and “dad” interchangeably, but they carry quite different feelings. A father is biological. Oftentimes a feeling of formality or distance is perceived with “father”. All a man needs to do is donate a cell to become a father. He doesn’t need be present for the pregnancy, birth, upbringing, caring, and parenting of the child. However, the child would develop differently (arguably better) if the father was present. That is where “dad” comes in. “Dad” is a much more personal, intimate, cozy term.
That said, my life has been blessed with amazing fathers – most notably my father, my grandfather, my father-in-law, my husband’s grandfather, and now my husband. Each one has been unique in how they fathered their children but all have been wonderful dads too.
Thank you to each of you — both here and in heaven — for all you have provided, for all you have taught, for all you have sacrificed, so that your children can live happier, healthier lives. You have been remarkable role models whose shoes we try to fill for future generations.
Here is to a Happy Dad’s Day!
And for my someone-special husband: a very special First Daddy’s Day to you!