I began writing this column years ago in my parents’ dining room late one evening after another day of taking care of mom during her last months of life.
A good majority of the time I watched her sleep and wondered what dad was up to as he dealt with his emotions by shooting squirrels out of the kitchen window.
I went out of my way to avoid being around him – mostly because he’d speak the truth – and I wasn’t ready to hear it, much less face it. It took losing his mind for me to change mine about the value of listening to dad.
Hearing about men who “father” children only to remove themselves from their kids’ lives as quickly as they came in, you have to admire the “real” men who choose to be a dad, regardless if they are biologically their own or not.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not all down and out on the dads of today, especially since I have the privilege to see firsthand the caring and doting dads who are raising my grandchildren. My “four sons” may not always do what I want them to do and may whine when they have to come to family functions, but it doesn’t matter because they’re doing the dad thing with more passion, love and patience than I could ever ask for.
Today’s society is producing fathers who know no boundaries when it comes to being a dad.
A dad’s role isn’t confined to just being the disciplinarian and the provider. The sons know all about changing diapers and feeding times, can fix a boo-boo just as good as mom and not only want to help take care of their children, they insist on it.
I wholeheartedly applaud young couples who share all the responsibilities of raising their children. From this daily interaction with their dads, daughters learn how to have healthy relationships with their future husbands and sons will grow up to be a role model for their children.
I feel fortunate I never have to worry about my grandchildren’s wellbeing, both physically and mentally. I just hope, when the grandkids are old enough, they realize what a gift their fathers are, being the dads they are supposed to be. I believe this generation of young couples is finally getting things turned around and is embracing the values of being a family.
I try not to be too mushy with the sons, mostly because they already think I’m weird, so I try to keep the lovey dovey stuff for the grandkids, but I hope they know how great I think they are. In my eyes, they’re the real superheroes. They all lead busy lives while functioning as a family being the top priority.
For my sons-in-law, as their special gift on Father’s Day, I’m not planning a family function.
Sandy Turner is a GateHouse Media columnist.