Benedict’s favorite part of the work week happens on Thursday mornings at our library; he absolutely loves story time. Even though we’ve only been going for a few months, he knows when we’re driving to the library and he always charges into the story room. It’s a great time for us to be out and about, for him to interact with other little people, and for him to learn from someone other than me.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m usually the only dude there. I do have another dad friend who’s wife is in the same program as Alison, but they’ll be moving this summer and soon it’ll just be me. I’ll admit that the whole story time situation is a bit awkward.
The most awkward part is when we sing. The moms are really into it, and frankly, so am I. Yet, for some reason, I just feel these waves of awkwardness coming my way. It’s as if singing is for moms and not for dads. We’re a changing economy and more dads are staying home to tend the children. In my clearly biased opinion, if a family is able to work out for someone to be home, it doesn’t really matter who stays home. Benedict loves to sing and I know that he takes the majority of his cues from me, so if I’m not singing, he may get the impression that he shouldn’t sing either. That’s no way to live!
All of this comes back to the subject of what makes a “good dad.” So many adults are sadly estranged from their fathers and I think that, in part, it’s because too many men have the wrong idea of who a father is. It’s not manly to be standoffish and cold. That’s called being a jerk. Imagine if God, as our father, acted in that way! No, He’s warm, active, and involved. We should be too. We need to give ourselves permission to be silly, because that’s what our children long for. A good dad is someone who’s not only present, but willing to ignore societal norms for the sake of his children.
We spend too much of our time subconsciously trying to stay within the lines. It’s time that we break the mold, color outside of the lines, and be the dads we ought to be.