Every male can be a father, every male! Even to the child that is not his. Father is a legal category, he is that “father’s name” in legal documents. And, when the column is empty, for some reason, we all know that that father exists somewhere, hidden for some good or bad reason. Supposedly, the second reason is more often.
Father might be responsible. He can regularly attend parents meetings, follow his child development, and be worried when child is ill. He can be regular in monthly child support payments, but he doesn’t have to do any of these, if it doesn’t pleases him, because he is that kind of father.
In some parts of the world the custom is to rip the father’s shirt when the baby is born. Fathers honor their friends with food and drinks when his child is born. Some fathers are happy then some think they are happy, some pretend they are happy. Some of them are hiding.
Dads are some other story. It is not that every father is a dad. Every dad doesn’t have to be a father. His child pronounces him a dad. Dad is the title that has to be earned. As much as it is easy to define a father, so much it is hard to determine when the father becomes a dad.
I’ve seen very dedicated fathers, especially with babies. I’ve seen them at the dentist’s office, at the physician’s, at the zoo, or in school. At a wedding. It is easy to recognize a dad among those, although, not many would get involved into that estimation. They consider that is enough to be the responsible one and that child addresses him with “dad.” Many fathers would like to be dads without much effort to understand who dad is and what dad represents.
Not necessarily, they are guilty of that, many of them had a father, but didn’t have a dad. Though they believed they had one or others convinced them of that.
Because of all that, every father should reassess himself every day if he is a dad or a father.
Dad can be strict, he can give you a lesson. Dad can get angry, he can do all that a father does. Only thing dad doesn’t do is he doesn’t beat you up. Beatings are for fathers. To dad his child is always at the first place, before each work, hobby, and each party with his friends. Fathers are more for order. Dads sometimes pretend they are enforcing order, but everyone knows they are just looking for a different way to give in.
Fathers can be dissatisfied, dads are sad. Father is proud, dad is happy. Father claims you have to do better. Dad tells you can do better next time. Father believes in your abilities, dad has trust in you even when you cannot reach a high basketball score, or solve a math problem.
A father thinks his child is better than others, a dad is not occupied with children other than his, no matter what. Dad is not competing. Father expects results. Dad is looking for smiles.
When fathers get together, they praise their children, or envy each other. When dads meet, they rejoice, or sympathise with other kids who are not theirs, as they know how every dad feels.
A father is present, a dad is here. Even though he is not nearby, because he is on business trip, or doesn’t live with you.
With your father, you can be a friend, even a buddy, but your dad is always and just a dad without additional qualifications. In life you can meet a man who can replace your father, but dad can be only one.
A good dad always thinks of himself as a bad dad, because he knows what he could of done better, but doesn’t know why he didn’t. He hurts for mistakes he has done, for harsh decisions he has made and hard words he used while parenting. He notes his minuses with fat lines and your pluses are big like high buildings. He is in endless fear of being just a father, represented only by family name.
A father thinks that all he does is for your sake. That he thinks about future. A dad thinks about present. You can’t disappoint your dad, but you can hurt him.
One can always think about himself as a good father and others can approve that. But only your child can say if you are a good or not a good dad. Compliments are here worthless.
A father is called when you mess something up. If they tell you to bring your dad, it is expected that your father shows up. Because, fathers can punish, but dads are trying to understand. But, when other kids are bullying you because you officially don’t have a father, or he is not part of your life, they always say you don’t have a dad. Children know that everyone has a father, but missing a dad hurts.
You can lose your father. Your dad is with you even when he is not present, being in this or another world. A dad is watching you since you were born, first he is listening if you are breathing, then how you are breathing, where you are breathing, with whom you are breathing and what you are breathing. With a dad you talk when he is not around, and when he is forever gone you suddenly realize how many unspoken words you owe to him. Not because of him, but because of you. For him is good enough that you exist.
A dad is never going to leave you. If he went to the other part of the world, he would find a way to call you and to encourage you, to talk to you and to hear from you. He is never going to spy on you even from the distance, hidden when he is watching you entering school , or when you are going on your first date.
Don’t you ever think that dad is a weaker version of father. Much more strength and love, often more courage is needed for to be a dad. To dad you have to listen, to father you can oppose. For those who don’t listen to dad, it is perhaps better to have a father only.
Some fathers can be everybody’s hero or idol. Your dad is only your hero. His achievements are to others every day’s stuff, but for you they are mountains moving. And each of his praises, regardless of how many you get daily, are worth more than any rewards. Ask someone who has gotten high awards, if you don’t believe this.
Fathers can be higher from others, stronger, smarter or wealthier. A dad is the biggest and the strongest man you know. You don’t compare your dad with other dads, it doesn’t make a sense, because you can’t have a better dad from one you already have. As he doesn’t wish to have a better child than you, when he is a dad.
A dad is a master – a maestro dad. A father, sometimes, just a money giver.
They curse a father. No one curses a dad. When they want to hurt you by mentioning your dad, in that insult there is always some envy. Or you are “daddy’s son” or your daddy, who is not here to protect you now, enabled you to achieve something.
A father thinks that you shouldn’t have any secrets in front of him, a dad always knocks on your door. A father asks what you wish, a dad is opening your horizons.
If you are a father, it might be worth it to try to be a dad.
Now what concerns me is that I recently became a daddy.
The article was created as part of “Super Dad” campaign supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and CARE International Balkans and also part of global fatherhood campaign – MenCare.
Written by : Zoran Stanojević, journalist and editor – Radio Television of Serbia
Translated by : Kirila Faeh – Radovanović