Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Modern Dads Must Adapt

How does a traditional family survive in the modern world?
My answer: adapt.

I find myself today with a wife (Katie and I will be married for 10 years this May, with a relationship founded on love, respect and common beliefs), two kids (now ages 8 and 4), a dog (Aurora, a Shepherd mix shelter rescue), and I own my own home (that first-time home buyer credit in '09 was a God-send). I could not be more blessed, or have a more traditional family. However, the traditional family image from the 50's does not apply in this house. Nor, I suspect, would it if I tried to make it.

dad with a blogThe image of a father who comes home from work, pats the kids on the head as he sits down with the paper to watch the game has evolved. So has the image of the apron wearing, Tupperware slinging, "wait til your dad gets home" threatening mom. Dads today can still be the lawmaker, the handyman, breadwinner and moral guide for the family. But we also need to be more.

Today, our kids need more from their dads than slippers and a game.

My kids need more from me.

And so, I am a baseball fan who knows the lyrics to the latest Disney princess song. I can hook up a DVD player and swaddle a newborn like a boss. This week, I will put up trim around our kitchen windows and run several loads of laundry (without turning anything pink). I will  teach a class at my daughter's school, cook a few meals, then pay bills and work 40+ hours. I will watch the NCAA basketball tournament, read bedtime stories, hand out discipline, dry tears, pick out clothes and along the way, share all those adventures with my wife.

I am a 21st-century dad, and this is my story.

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