Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Dad by Choice

Being a father is having genetic ties to another life of which you helped to create. It is a no obligation commitment sign, sealed and delivered in just one night in the throes of passion by a strong swimmer and the chance meeting of an ovulating egg. It is a title to which any man can bare, whether or not he is ready, willing, able or deserving. The word father is a noun and has no attached meaning other than, “a person who lends half of the DNA necessary in the creation of another human life.”

Being a Dad, however, is an action, it’s a verb, a choice, and supporting role in a child’s life, no matter their age, or even their DNA and whether it be tied to his or not. You don’t become a dad to someone over-night, nor do you remain a dad if you choose not to act as one. A dad commits himself to much more than just the lending of DNA, and he believes his role in creation comes after his child is born into this world, as he knows true creation comes from leading his child by his example.

Being a Dad is a multi-faceted, ever evolving role that starts with unconditional love for another being to which you accept and embrace as your own. It is taking on the responsibility of another life and understanding the power and impact the choices you make have on them. It is the ability to be the rock in their life, the constant source of love and acceptance that gives them the courage to be who they are intended to be. A Dad is strong in the face of danger, and weak in a moment of tenderness. He is the foundation from which his child is built and determines the stability of the rest of their lives.

Being a Dad is having the ability to play like a child and discipline like an adult. It is taking the responsibility to teach responsibility. It is giving and showing respect for others, for his child and for his-self. A Dad teaches his son how to treat a woman and his daughter how she should be treated by a man. He is his daughter’s first love and his son’s first hero.

Being a Dad is much more than a financial responsibility, though that is yet another aspect of his role in his child’s life… Not only to provide for him financially, but eventually teach him financial responsibility so that he is able to one day provide for him-self. A dad knows the importance of being available to his child. He revels in the moments they spend together and gives his child his undivided attention, and in turn, shows him that he is loved.

Becoming a father occurs in a moment, but being a Dad happens over a lifetime of amazing, terrifying, thrilling, anxiety-ridden, mind-boggling, fantastic moments spent with the child that you took and loved with more passion and commitment than you ever knew you had in you to give. Being a father is by chance, being a DAD is by choice.