What makes a father a dad?

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads. I woke up thinking what makes a dad? I mean we all have fathers, but it seems fewer of us have dads. I login on Facebook to see so many have posted ole time snapshots of their fathers from days gone by. And I cant help but wonder if thats done out of love and reflection, or to follow the mainstream. Were these people the product of great childhoods, were their dads great men who loved and sacrificed in honor of the family? And if so, did his children recognize that when they were young, or is it only now in adulthood that memories smooth the edges, making their father something more than he was?

I guess fatherhood and its expectations have changed throughout the generations. There was a time when being the bread winner was all there was to being a good father. Today fathers are expected to participate in the home, attend Barbie bday parties, father/daughter dances, trick or treat the streets holding little hands, and laugh love and giggle with their kids. Its not a challenge every father can tackle, thus there are many more fathers than dads.

My dad had a hard life. He had a sixth grade education. His father abandoned his family of four boys. The love of his wife died in his arms, leaving him the a single parent. Later he married a mentally unstable woman and fathered three three more children. The household was poor, abusive and full of stress, fighting was commonplace. Yet despite it all, my father had moments of greatness when I felt like a kid, who had a dad. It was the simple gestures I remember the most, getting a creamee, candy & soda pop while garage saling with Gram, when he’d speed up the car going up over a hill, the only version of a roller coaster I’d know for many years. My father protected us, the best he knew how, from the angry hands of a mother less equipped to be a mother than most, and he at least tried, and had the sense of mind to know his children werent living great childhoods, but he tried to give us moments where we could simply just be kids. Happy Fathers day Dad.