How to Dad…

When Jeremy was small, people would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up and his answer was always the same, “I want to be a Daddy.” But over the years that answer slowly faded.

A couple of weeks ago Jeremy told Emma that he felt mostly male with a bit of female but if he’d had the choice he would have been born a girl. Two days ago I asked him why there was such a difference between his two statements. If he felt mostly male then why did he wish he’d been born a girl?

“I want to be a parent when I grow up but I want my kids to love me and look up to me,” he replied. “Kids don’t really respect their Dads. They love and look up to their Moms so I’d rather be a Mom.”

If I could go back in time and pick a better father for my kids I would. But then again I wouldn’t have Jeremy or Emma.

“Hon, all sorts of kids love their Dads and think they’re wonderful,” I assured him. “You’ll be a good parent and your kids will look up to you.”

He nodded but he didn’t look convinced. My Dad’s a great father but Jeremy hasn’t seen much of him in years and, while Jeremy looks up to my friends P and M, they’re not fathers. Jeremy’s only real parental role model is me and I’m not male. I’d thought I’d told him over the years that mothers and fathers are equal but I either didn’t or Jeremy wasn’t listening (or a mixture of the two).

If Jeremy wanted to be a mother because he felt female that would be one thing but wanting to be a mother because he feels Dads aren’t good enough… well that was heart breaking.

Then came yesterday. A friend of mine posted a Cheerios video on Facebook, saying it was finally a decent media portrayal of a father, so I immediately watched then called Jeremy in before I even finished so he could watch it too.

The video is beyond cheesy. The Dad does a non-stop narration on being a father, while complimenting and high-fiving his kids. The kids meanwhile follow him around while pretty much hero worshiping him. And at the end, apropos of nothing, he suddenly starts flogging peanut butter Cheerios. Jeremy loved the whole thing…

Obviously one video isn’t going to be a cure-all for Jeremy’s views on fatherhood but it was nice to have some back up to my claim. I also picked up peanut butter Cheerios on the way home from work today.

And, because I’m on Facebook all the freaking time anyways, I’ve now made a Because I’m Fabulous Facebook page. Feel free to go and like. Or, if you’re too shy, just go and look. I’ve got extra pictures and quotes and stuff.

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3 thoughts on “How to Dad…

  1. Our media does a poor job of representing engaging, loving fathers who dote or involve themselves with their children’s lives, even though society as a whole increasingly sees this. My father dotes on his grandson far more than he did my sister and I, if not to make for all that time he was away due to the nature of his job. While we may seriously butt heads on everything from politics to parenting styles, he has a mix of old-school and modern courtesy meeting etiquette for all people. The love we have for each parent manifests in different ways.

  2. And parents come in all shapes and sizes. Both my parents worked full time. The people who “raised me” were cousins, friends, aunts, uncles. Just thing of how many older siblings end up being the parents to their younger brothers and sisters because their parents couldn’t.

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