What Is a Father?

How to Become Dad.

Leo Cavell 2003
Leo A. Cavell, “Dad”

As often happens, I will feel an urge to contribute something in the hope someone else will receive the emotion I feel that led to that wish.  The feeling is a like stage fright; wanting to do well enough to effect the communication; yet hesitant for fear of not doing justice to the intention.  Today is Father’ Day and I’d like to do my little part to honor the fathers who strive to live up the that station, especially those who earn the title “Dad.”

Human history has required that the usual first step on the road to become father is to become husband (partner, protector, conservator).  With time the next step is to add the role parent (progenitor, guardian, pastor).  If he fulfills those roles others confer upon him the title Dad.

Father:  a male parent; any male ancestor; a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider.  (fader,  fæder, Vater, pater, patḗr, pitar, athir,  hayr)

Parent: an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor; a source, origin, or cause;a protector or guardian.  (parēns parere)

Husbandwoman’s partner in marriage, a manager; a prudent or frugal manager; to manage; to use frugally; conserve.  (husband, hūsbonda, hūsbōndi)

Patrona person who supports with money, gifts, efforts, the protector of a dependent or client.  (patrōnus, derivative of pater father)

Pastor: a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.  (pāstor, pāscere,  pastour)

Protectora person or thing that protects; defender; guardian.  (protectour)

Dad:  father.  (euphemism for God, variant of dab)

I was lucky.  In my eyes my father was Dad and from what I can tell, both of my grandfathers were as well.  Not without flaws, of course.  The flaws (so-called) are like the spices added to foods.  Without them the food may be pure but without personality.  It is the same with fathers.  Many of their most Dad earning moments stem from their foibles.  There is no doubt our stories of them are better for the telling because of those spices.

Serendipitous Article

This morning I happened upon an article in The Advocate our local newspaper (Capital City Press LLC) that exemplified the story I’d like to convey.  It was by Joe Macaluso, a distinguished writer good enough to be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.  The story is about one lucky gentleman lucky enough to be named Dad.  Additional characters include his son, a girlfriend and her Dad all filling the roles required by the stereotypes… in real life.  It is well worth the reading.  For you who don’t receive The Advocate, here is a LINK to the story.  Find a quiet place and read.  Hallmark couldn’t write as good a script and this wasn’t scripted!

Please, take a couple of minutes to read the article.  LINK

Happy Fathers’ Day