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The Subjective Experience of Being a Father

lolWhat does it mean to be a father? How do I “be” a father? What does a father “do?”

What does being a dad mean to you? Like my Scandinavian ancestors and relatives, I like to tease and joke with my children. I get the better part of the relationship, though. They have a funnier sense of humor than I do. But they know their father cares and interacts with them, and sometimes they even laugh at my jokes and teasing.

Of course being a father is more than just horsing around. We go to work daily, if we can, in order to support our wives and children. Then we get to practice being patient, attentive, and loving to our family members, whether we feel like it or not. Notice I said “practice.” Being and doing, however defined, always imply and require repetition.

So how does a dad habitually become a father in a positive way? We give life, then we extend life’s possibilities and opportunities to our families. One way this happens is we do our best to get tools for our childrens success. My oldest child received a used sewing machine for Christmas. This is something she has wanted for years. After much reminding, we drove through horrible Utah County traffic to get a power cord for the machine. We discovered that the machine was a 1963 model, and the price of the cord gave us sticker shock. We bought it anyway, and will hopefully open a new world for her.

I’m glad I have this opportunity as a father, to expand the options and possibilities of each and every one of my children. Their joy and growth as they learn and take hold of life increase my joy and how meaningful my time on earth is to me.

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