Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fatherhood a Link to Past, Future

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fatherhood a Link to Past, Future

Article excerpt

My father took the first photograph of me as a father.

On the most important day of my life 13 years ago (only to be

tied three years later with the birth of my second daughter), my

father was there and took that picture just minutes after she

was born.

Being there.

That's my father. He has filled many roles in a lifetime: son,

brother, student, teacher, sailor, friend, husband, businessman,

but being a father is the hardest and most important role he's

ever had.

And it will be for me, too.

The first time you hold your child, during that awesome moment,

you promise that tiny infant you will fulfill its every need.

You'll never let harm come to this child, and you'll only have

the best for your child and your family.

When you get that child home, the reality of its needs hit home.

Financially, physically and emotionally, being a parent, being a

father, is a huge responsibility -- a responsibility you accept,

like your father did before you.

What's odd about our time is that we're pointing fingers at

some men for their lack of responsibility, even as many men have

become more immersed than ever in their children's lives.

Their children's passions have become their own. Find a group

of 30-or 40-something men gathered, and it is as likely they are

discussing their child's choice of a magnet school as they would

be talking about the Jaguars latest draft choice. Dentists,

pediatricians, churches, synagogues, scouts and youth groups, as

well as the Braves, the Bulls and Dale Earnhardt. The birth of

the children, the growing-up of the children, the education of

the children, the safety of the children and their child's

future become universal topics of conversation.

They're working full-time and they are full-time dads. They're

coaching sports that were once foreign to them. They're arriving

late at work because they want to make sure the precious science

project arrives at school undamaged. They're bemoaning the fact

that their sons and daughters are getting older, becoming more

independent. …

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