As someone who considers himself a Dad Blogger, I’ve realized that there’s one particular topic that for whatever reason, I haven’t written. A topic that as much as anything safe my own children has impacted the way I raise my own children and how I try to set an example for them as they grow up.
I don’t think I’m the only one who spends all their writing time talking about how great life with kids are. That part is an excellent part of Dad Blogging. But my goodness, I was once a kid too, and my dad didn’t blog, he just set the tone for everything I’d end up becoming as a parent. I realize that not everyone has an enviable father figure growing up, but I did and I need to celebrate that more.
I remember being five (or maybe seven) and thinking my dad was a legend. He’d train for marathons and the local newspaper would write stories about him being the village Running Man. He rowed in the World Championships and even though he hadn’t won gold it meant he was one of the best in the world at something. He’d let me hammer nails into a wooden post in our basement and trust that I wouldn’t hammer one through my hand. He set up a basketball net in our basement even though the ceiling were maximum eight feet and in that same basement, he sacrificed an entire wall so that we could fire hockey pucks at will.
Basically, growing up, my dad was a legend. Part Arthurian, part Big Joe Mufferaw, part Paul Bunyan and part Roger Bannister.
But now that I’m raising my own children, I’ve figured out what his greatest accomplishment as a father was—he loved us all and he spent oodles of time helping us grow up. He coached pretty much every sport we ever played in and allowed himself to be called Malak when he was a Beaver leader. And there’s been nothing more integral to me being a good dad than having a dad to show me how to be a dad.
Now that I’m 33, my dad and I are more friends than anything. We still curl together, drink beer together and golf together. I’m also positive he can still run faster, and further, than I can. And now that I’m old and wise enough to appreciate how special it is, I can watch him play with my kids and realize how lucky they are to have him.
Hopefully, one day, my kids will look back at me and be able to say the same thing.