As I’ve repeatedly emphasized to my son, “I’m not “Super Dad”. Though I aim to be a “good” father. The idea of seamlessly traversing this minefield known as parenting, seems a rather unattainable and lofty goal. I had long grown content with the idea of being an attentive parent. Who ultimately works in favor of their child’s best interests. But of late, I’ve pivoted my disposition to question, “Why am I settling for “good”?” “Why not pursue “great” or even “super” dad status?” The only query then left is, “How?”.
Becoming a “Great” Dad
How does one become a “great” father? The short answer is quite simple – diligence. “Great” dads aren’t perfect fathers nor immune to failure. What differentiates a “good” from a “great” dad is a relentless determination to prevail. No matter how small the win. In essence, any one of us can be “great” fathers if we are willing to put in the work necessary.
NOT As Seen On T.V.
Seeing that I grew up without a dad. My point of reference, in relation to the “quintessential father”, came primarily from television. These staunch portrayals of an all-knowing, authoritative nurturer shaped who I thought dads were and should be. Only to later learn that these “archetype” father figures were merely contrived caricatures of the true struggle. As we humans are all hindered by emotions that often skew our handling of many of life’s trials.
A Pup Named Loki
Case in point – Our family has recently expanded with the addition of a Shiba Inu pup named Loki. Affectionately dubbed “Loko Ono”, as she is Japanese, unpredictable and may very well break-up our band. We’d thought this venture would provide Miles with a relationship rooted in the caring of something other than himself. Not to mention the lifelong bond they may establish through their many shared experiences (blah, blah, blah)… Long story short, this shit has not gone as we’d predicted.
We hadn’t anticipated the probability for jealousy from him towards her. As he (temporarily) plays second fiddle, as much of our immediate time is consumed by acclimating Loki to her new environment. Tether this to his false assumption of receiving a ready-made obedient dog and we’re officially in a pickle. I find myself (foolishly) scolding him regarding dog-related instances that he has no understanding of. Being that NONE of us have EVER owned a pet in our lives. All-in-all, this has been true reality versus expectation endeavor. Not at all living up to the example set by “Mike Brady” nor other fictional dads who would’ve provided a far smoother transition. At best, I’ve “Al Bundy-ed” my way through this undertaking and we’re barely a month in. I’ve never felt less “super”.
Committing to Greatness
What this entire ordeal has taught me about becoming a “great” father is this – Keeping our best foot forward is an ongoing task. By recognizing that room for improvement is required, we have taken the first step in bettering our resolve towards fatherhood in general. What our kids need, is the assurance that we are committed to being the finest version of ourselves, for them. That no matter how bumpy the path to happiness may seem, its roads are paved by our willingness to succeed. By no means am I saying that I’m a “great” or “super” dad. But through my pursuit, I’ve unlocked the potential within myself to be so, one day. So can you.