Thank You, Dad


Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.

Since I wrote a post for Mother’s Day, it only seemed logical that I write one for Father’s Day as well. This is going to be a little different, though, because I have to admit: there’s not a lot about the “perfect dad” that I know of. I’ve never been a father, and I’m physically incapable of becoming one, so before now I never took the time to think about the kind of father I would want for any children I might have. That’s not right. In fact, it’s sad. There’s a large variety of fathers, and the media shows us only three: the Embarrassing Dad, the Nonexistent Dad, and the Overbearing Dad.

To the naked eye, it seems like the mother does most of the parenting. It’s easy to see why; she gives birth to them, she feeds them, she cleans them, she fusses over them, etc. Many consider the Good Mother to be the place of refuge. With all of that in mind, what does the Good Father contribute? I did a little digging, and I found an article called “The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children” written by Jeffery Rosenberg and W. Bradford Wilcox. The article gave a basic—but thought-provoking—overview of fatherhood. It talked about how the relationship between the mother and father influences a child’s psychological behavior, as well as what this child will eventually look for in his/her future relationships. It also said that fathers playing with their babies will have a healthy effect on their psyche altogether.

That’s not to say that children with loving fathers will never experience depression or insecurity. My dad played with my brother and me a lot when we were babies, and outside sources gave me a lot of teenage angst that I’m not proud of. But because of both of my parents, I learned to grow out of it. While I admire single parents for raising kids on their own, I don’t think either of my parents could’ve raised me or my brother on their own. I don’t believe my dad could’ve done it without my mom, or that my mom could’ve done it without my dad.

I’m glad to say that I don’t have an Overbearing Dad, an Embarrassing Dad (most of the time), or the Nonexistent Dad. So what kind of dad do I have? After giving it some thought, I would label my dad as the Teaching Dad. If I had a question related to math or science, he was the go-to guy. If I needed help with paying taxes or fixing my computer, he was the one in the family who could help. Additionally, there were things that my dad unintentionally taught my brother and me. His relationship with our mom taught my brother how to respect his wife—as well as other women around him—and it taught me how I should be treated as a woman in any area of life. He taught me that it’s okay to be myself, and that I shouldn’t settle for relationships with people who don’t respect the kind of person I am. But at the same time, he taught me to be humble and recognize when I’m wrong.

My dad wasn’t a perfect man. There were times when I resented him. But at the end of the day, he was still my dad. As is the case with my mom, God made my dad just right for me.

Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You deserve it.”

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