DISCUSSION: Has Fatherhood Changed All That Much?
Dear old dad has been your champion, your go to guy, the Mr. fix, the guy in the know and he's probably told you things you didn't want to hear. But has fatherhood changed? I say yes.
When I was growing up, I was often characterized as "the challenge" in comparison to my two sisters.
And my relationship with my dad seemed stuck in Archie Bunker-like fashion where we often argued. But in his defense, I have to say the man gave all he had to the three of us "Lockwood" girls.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, being the father of three girls meant the rules had changed and that meant his job wasn't to marry us off, but to show us the importance of education, career and family.
This meant we couldn't date until we were 16. He told us that we would not be paying for a wedding if this occurred before our 19th birthday. He kept a loaded shotgun by the door at all times and the boys that were interested in dating his daughters would have to come to the house to meet him.
We were also encouraged to seek careers. My parents regularly asked the question: what do you want to be when you grow up? My dad encouraged us to see the possibilities that were there for us, that we were to learn to care for ourselves, and to live out on our own for a while before settling down.
I can’t say that I was quick to follow all of his advice, but eventually I did.
After I got divorced, he wanted me to move back to Ohio, but I didn’t. My parents often would come and visit, and I would randomly find money hidden in my house. When I wanted to go on a retreat for a weekend, my dad came to babysit my daughter. He made sure I had a budget and would often call to see how I was doing.
Years later when I told him that I wanted to go back to college to get my graduate certificate in advanced professional writing after having been laid off, he asked about my thinking behind making that decision. I explained that the program allowed me to learn other forms of writing, including business and technical writing, and web content development.
“I don’t know what else to do,” I said. “This is the quickest way I know to transition into another career that I know has openings.”
And he supported me in that decision.
That's why I have a genuine affection for the guy I call my dad. He's my pappy. He's bailed me out more times than I care to admit, listened to me when I questioned my parenting and encouraged me to work towards my goals.
And for all of that – I have to say, thanks Dad.