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02 December 2007

Family Man

Hey, know any Great Dads? I do. And, like their kids, I am better for it too.

I ran across this song the other day written by a son to his father. Not my kind of music, but the sentiment is nice. The rather kitsch "Family Man" song by J.G. Boccella can be found here.

From time to time I want to chronicle some of those Dads that have some very fortunate kids. These are Dads totally absorbed in their kids. Not in a Disneyland kind of way either. And before the Mom's get their hackles up, the ability of every Dad to be great is directly proportionate with the ability of every Mom to be great too.

These examples are not case studies nor are they the result of any exhaustive interview or analysis during a reality TV show (but wouldn't that be a hoot). These are just random observations I have made of my friends and acquaintances through the years that did something that made their kids a better human. If we do that enough....they actually become a better human.

And we sure need more of them.

  • JK (DC): Reads every night to his kids, shamelessly has his daughter's adorable "I love you Daddy" declaration as his cellular ring tone, actively hosts kid gatherings at his house for all the neighbors.

  • JM (NY): Pines away to and from work whilst his children are at school wondering what their daily activities are. Probably has a live video feed of their classroom on his desktop.

  • JM (Chi-town): Spends significant one-on-one time at bedtime having separate, highly nurturing conversations with all of his kids. Probably has his kid's college and their kid's college already paid for.

  • JT (Indy): Camped - literally - outside his kid's bedroom each night to comfort him during a difficult period. Selflessly changed jobs and moved out of state so his kid and his wife could be closer to the support of extended family and so he could be more available.

  • JKA (Indy): Adjusts his demanding work and travel schedule so that he is available for as much of his kids waking hours as possible. Exhaustively (and successfully) built a coalition of people to help create a seamless, productive and efficient hand-off from home to school house to classroom and back for his son during a challenging period while starting at a new school.

  • JA (Atlanta): Creates and promotes every conceivable opportunity for his kids to explore their world, from sports to education to travel. All while extensively traveling himself for his demanding job.
So there are a couple of things we can learn from this. For starters, I have a lot of dude friends with names that start with the letter "J". Wonder what that means? Also, Dads do a lot of unheralded, everyday things that make a big difference in the lives of their kids. And to restate the obvious....yes, Dads are supposed to do those things! But it sure never hurts to reward them for it.

So, since there is no shortage of places to go and see or hear about super Moms raising their kids (yes, they are supposed to do that too), I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to the above Dads who are doing good, anonymous work every day.

Those lucky kids.

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