Where Do Dads Come From?
The Boy asked me a question yesterday that I couldn’t answer. I still can’t answer it.
He asked me where I came from. ? He asked it several times in several different ways, and finally drew the picture you see here in order to help me understand his question. Where do Dads come from?
He knows where I came from. He knows where I chose to take my tutelage. He knows lots of stories about those who set the example that I try to follow. Yet, with all that said, he still isn’t entirely sure how I came to be. I didn’t realize, until he asked me, that I don’t know either. Not entirely.
The best I could come up with was, “Well, Buddy… I guess I don’t know.” I suppose I should figure that out. First, though, let me explain the picture shown here, as he explained it to me.
The Boy- “I know what you’re trying to do. You want Sis and I to be happy, and to be good Moms and Dads. But what I don’t know is how you got to be the Dad you are from all the stuff you came from. Maybe you can find better words to make a story from it than I can. I still can’t figure out exactly what I’m trying to ask.”
To say the least, the road that led us to where we are was nontraditional. I can certainly understand why it might seem like chaos to The Boy. It seems that way to me as well.
I know what he’s trying to ask. He wants to know how the chaos at the top of the picture funneled into the single ‘Me’ in the middle of the picture, and will hopefully result in the two lines of my own young that I’m trying desperately to teach right from wrong to. Because, I truly believe that if you do the right thing(s) for the right reason(s), all sorts of good stuff(s) will come of those efforts. The Boy wants to know where that started. I don’t know. At the same time, it’s a very relevant question. Yet also irrelevant.
You choose to be the Dad you are. Period. You might choose wisely, you may choose poorly, you may choose based on very little to go on. But you choose.
I started to think about all the ways that Dads I know have become the Dads they are today. Some follow in their Father’s footsteps exactly. Some diverge entirely. Some are a mix. Some worked and worked to become Dads against impossible odds. Some Dads became accidental Dads. Some Dads never imagined they would be Dads at all, let alone did they imagine themselves good or bad ones. I suppose they’re all different, for the most part. How do you cook a successful recipe from that chaos?
My answer to The Boy is going to be that you cook it however you want to. You pick and choose the ingredients you love, and you dispose quickly and entirely of the ingredients you don’t care for. It’s your recipe, and you are the only Dad that you have to answer to. More precisely- your kids are the only jurors that will be able to judge the success or failure of your Dadhood, and by the time they are able to make that judgment, too much time has passed for anything different to unfold.
I have no doubt that The Boy will do so in a grandiose manner. I have no doubt that he will repeat many of my successes, at least a few of my failures, and that he will be the creator of many many brilliant additions to Fatherhood that I couldn’t have dreamt of. No doubt. That’s what I need him to know, I suppose. He’s going to do better than fine, and he need not worry about how or why. He will. I will be honored if my example is even only the first step in his journey. He is of fine character and kind soul, and because he wants to be a good Dad, he will be a good Dad. The details are just details. The result is inevitable.
After nearly 48 hours of attempting to order this chaos, I decided that in our case, there is no way to do so. Yet, I did end up wondering where Dads come from. Not in general, not this one or that one. All of them. Help me out. Tell me your story. Tell me your Dad’s story. Tell me the story of the Father of your children. Tell me about your best friend’s Dad when you were a kid. Tell me stories.
I’ll read them to The Boy. I know he’ll enjoy each and every one of them…
Cheers from The www.ThreeFiveZero.com Dad