The title of this guest blog simply sums up a majority of my childhood.
For 14 years I didn’t know my biological father.
I knew of him, but I didn’t know him.
But on the other side of that, for 14 years I grew up knowing one amazing dad who loved me, raised me, educated me, and helped mold me into the man I am today.
Even after the 14 years went by and I eventually met my biological father, today I still don’t “know him” about as much as he doesn’t “know me”.
So the question of what makes a Dad a Dad and a Father a Father periodically comes to mind.
One of my biggest goals in life is to ensure my son and any other potential children (wink wink babe) Andrea and I share never have to ask this question or rather never have to compare the two words.
Everyone can look up the key differences or explain their personal opinion of which one is what.
I took the liberty to help fortify what we already know:
“Key difference: A father is the male parent of the child; its progenitor. They share DNA with the child, but he may or may not share responsibility in the child’s growth and development. Dad is a term of affection and familiarity. Dad is someone who actively participates in the child’s growth and development.”
We have often heard others say “any guy can become a father, but it takes a man to be a dad”.
This holds true in my life as well as my wife’s.
We both experienced a father and a dad type scenario.
Being a Christian it seems odd to me that the word Father doesn’t hold a stronger meaning as I believe God is actively participating in my life, but that’s a whole other conversation.
So today being a father and a dad I can honestly say I wouldn’t know how to be one without the other.
I have seen my fair share of Fathers and others who are Dads.
After watching Declan grow on a daily basis one of my biggest nightmares would be someone else raising my son while I sit back and neglect my responsibility, my son, my legacy.
Declan has taught me a whole new level of love.
I cannot say it’s stronger than what I feel for my wife, but it’s a different feeling of adoration/responsibility that’s fills every fiber of my being.
Watching his face light up when I walk into a room makes me instantly happy, no matter the mood I was in prior.
Watching him crawl/walk towards me in pure excitement because he wants his “dada” melts my heart.
These moments us “Dathers” (Copy right) get to experiment simply make me feel sorry for not only the children who never get to express that excitement towards a Dad, but for those Fathers who have chosen/failed to become a Dad.
I promised myself way before knowing my biological father that I would never be just that.
I would be more than a Father.
I would be forever involved, forever dedicated, and forever in love with my children.
Ironically today the story of Peter Lanza, the Father of Adam Lanza who was responsible for the Sandy Hook tragedy, said he wished his son had never been born.
As tragic the event was and as devastating it was for the parents, families, and friends of the victims this comment sickens me.
Adam Lanza had some serious mental issues as many psychopaths do, but this statement his father made really makes me think the boy needed a Dad.
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that would of solved his issues or prevented the tragedy, but for a father to reject the love he once felt for his son seems an impossible task for me.
The love I have for Declan seems irreversible.
I have not walked in Peter Lanza’s shoes and I can’t imagine ever having to.
But I know that today the love I have for my son will go with me forever.
I will never be able to change how I felt yesterday or how I feel about my child today.
I know I will never be able/want to change being his Dad or the love we continue to share daily.
Declan will never have to compare the two.
More importantly he will never have to see them as different meanings.
My goal is to ensure he understands the two go hand in hand as God intended.
When the Father created He ensured Declan would have a Dad.
I challenge any of you who know a father or may be a father to unite these two words not only for every child’s sake, but for the potential Dad’s sake.
No matter your situation whether it be a separation, divorce, heck a one night stand in Vegas that led to another life being blessed on this earth.
Go and be a “Dather” because as much as the child suffers from not having one, in the end it’s the Fathers who are/have been missing out.
The Dads are just smart enough to know it and that’s why they are picking up those precious pieces.