Every little boy wants a superhero for a dad. I mean, if Superman was actually your dad, how easy would it be to win the old "My dad can beat up your dad" argument? The problem is, superheroes, the kind of musclebound, tight-wearing, cape clad champions of good vs. evil, don't exist. Well, they don't exist in reality anyway. But that doesn't mean there aren't men- dads who rise to the challenge of fatherhood- that don't deserve the title. After all, you don't need spider senses or a utility belt to be an exceptional father; all you really need is "heart...miles and miles of heart." (The Replacements, 2000)
Now, what do we mean by heart? Heart encompasses a great number of qualities a man may possess. Some call it stoicism. Some call it inner-strength. Some even call it determination. But whatever you call it, heart is the greatest attribute of any superhero. Heart helps you stick it out when times are tough. It helps you endure when mere mortals would not. It keeps you laughing when others would want to cut and run. In essence, it is the key to every great dad's ability to overcome all obstacles, great and small.
Real dads (er, true superheroes) don't fly, or turn into giant green monsters... they just get the job done, and don't wait for somebody else to do it for them. They change diapers, prepare meals, wash dishes (and clothes), fold laundry, sweep floors and empty Diaper Genies. They wake up at ungodly hours to check on screaming children, and put them back to sleep after they have had a nightmare. They teach their kids how to ride a bike, how to memorize multiplication tables, and how to save their allowance. They teach their kids responsibility- for their own actions, their own mistakes and their own misgivings. They show their kids how to respect the world they live in (the environment, wildlife, those less fortunate than they are). And they put themselves out there as an example of what a true man should be so no little girl should every have to wonder, and no little boy should every have to look elsewhere for a role model.
Children need to learn that superheroes don't exist in the pages of comic books; they sleep in the next room (that's dads, and moms too). They're the ones who clean you up and put you back to bed after you puke all over yourself in your sleep. Their the ones who drive 30 miles out of their way every morning to take you to a better school, or ten towns over to get you to your hockey tournaments. Their the ones who sacrifice to give you a better life, and protect you from a world of evils that lurk around every corner. They are the ones who hug you, and tell you that every thing will be alright, because, come hell or high water, it's their job to make it so.
|Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)|
Superheroes go by many names. But if you're looking for one that you can call your own, look no further than a dad. (Now, can you all stop buying us ties for Father's Day... it's a little insulting).
Related Links (Some Great Dad Blogs and Pages):
Proud dad blog? Please add yourself to the list in the comments section. You're all heroes in our book.
- Fodder 4 Fathers
The Superman crest is a registered trademark of D.C. Comics/ Warner Bros. Inc. It has been used with the utmost respect for its symbolic representation of the hero is all of us.