I recognized something last week.
Ive been a pa precisely half of “peoples lives”.
28 years being a dad which followed 28 years of being a non-dad.
Im a 50 -5 0 various kinds of person. My experience and position as a man is split right down the middle. Does one of those halves have a bigger impact in my wander through life as a being? Or are the sums of the two equal duties when mushed together the definitions contained in who I am ?
50-50 is an interesting thing.
Were I a baseball player, batting 500 would stimulate me an instant myth. So perhaps as a being, Im now a legend.
But tells speak Im a hockey goalie with a 50% save percentage. Were that the suit, Id be looking for a brand-new job really fast.
A new occupation its interesting to write those words.
No, Im not thinking about a new occupation in a professional appreciation. But I have been thinking a lot lately about a polished and fresh- purpose as a dad.
When I look at my 50 -5 0 life thus far, the second largest 50 was eaten in a 24/7 -kind-of-way with has become a dad. Three children encompassing seven years. I was all in. Hook, direction and sinker. And like every father Ive come to know, I hadnt a evidence as to what it meant to be a father.
If I had to coat for you an image of fatherhood in the first 28 years of “peoples lives”, it would look a little bit closer to fields of grass, curving in the openness of Nebraska, with a illustration perfect kinfolk visible on a faraway mountain, piloting kites and being chased by puppies.
Yup. My first 28 times determined me sporting rose-colored glasses often.
These recent 28 years have been a back-and-forth combination of regularly knowledge fatherly bliss. And being hit over the premier with a 2 x 4.
Fathering bliss . I say it as though it was something only those with biological offspring have rights to.
Which accompanies me to, in ways, what I look forward to for the next 28 years of my journey.
It still commits fathering. Just in a different way.
Oh, my priority will always be my own three children and the lives waiting in front of them. That will never change.( Sorry minors, youre fixed with me ).
But Ive also come to realize in both halves of “peoples lives” that being a father figure in the lives of children doesnt require a DNA acquaintance .
In the first half of “peoples lives” there was no other man most significant to me than my own papa. Effectively, he raised me alone after my mother croaked at an early age. Boy, did I reached the lottery with my father. But I had another father in my life and that would be my Uncle Jack. He was my fathers older brother. He was the oasis I would go to, travel to, hang with when my own leaders touch simply necessitated a residue. They are both become , now. And when they died, the loss I experienced was practically equal for each of them.
More lately, in the second half of my life Ive had the opportunity to work with a rather amazing nonprofit, Camp Kesem. Its an organization that provides support to children impacted by a parents cancer. Everyone at Camp Kesem has a camp name mine being Pops. Thats who I am to the thousands of volunteer college students who are our secret sauce. Thats who I am to the over 7,000 children who are provided free summer camping knows through our planneds around the country. And thats who I am to our staff members and many of our supporters.
Not a substitute father-god to anyone. Not at all. Just another person in “the worlds”. Offering a compassionate, cherishing ear and nerve- to any progeny when they need it.
Kind of like Uncle Jack.
Thats where this dad is taking his fathering talents.
So as we commemorate Parents Day, gives too remember to celebrate all of the Un-Fathers out there. The uncles, the educators, the coaches, the granddads the men who selflessly step into small children life and show that they care.
Their knacks matter to the children in their lives.