Do You Have the ‘World’s Greatest Dad’? So Do I.
I’ve always found the saying World’s Greatest Dad a most curious one. For those of us fortunate enough to know that saying to be true (yes, my dad was the greatest) – can we all be right?
On one hand, it’s not literally possible. A more accurate classification might be One of the World’s Greatest Dads. We haven’t met every dad on earth in order to accurately make this claim. And we also know that “greatness” is in the eye of the beholder. There is no quantifiable measuring stick for the significance of a person.
On the other hand – at least when it comes to my dad – there can be no debating my declaration. I know I was graced with the Greatest Dad, hands down. He never stops validating this, and I can submit conclusive examples of his love nonstop from birth to this present day.
The funny thing is, whenever you or I make this claim, no arguments ensue. If I were to make other proclamations, such as the greatest pizza place, NFL quarterback, or president – disagreements would arise. Yet I could hear someone else tell me his dad is the greatest, and I’d merely nod and smile while acknowledging he’s right, and knowing that I am, too.
And if there’s so many great dads, why do we need national institutions and billboards insisting that there’s a fatherhood crisis? That we need to “Take time to be a dad today”? We don’t see these exhortations for moms. So why perpetuate an unfair stigma about dads? Both parents need support. The truth is that the responsible, active dads far out-number the negligent ones.
The entertainment and media industry are often responsible for this misrepresentation of fatherhood. Even today, a dad who takes care of the children alone or handles household chores is referred to as Mr. Mom. He’s not a mom, nor a replacement for mom; he’s an equal, competent parent who’s simply a dad.
I recently a noticed a news story titled, “Dads are wired to ‘mother’ too.” The awkward and inappropriate headline left me both laughing and furious. No, I thought, dads are not wired to ‘mother’; they’re wired to ‘father.’
Being a dad is difficult work. Societal expectations still suggest dads need to provide monetarily, though today’s dads want to be present and not miss a thing. Pulling them off equally – trying to be the provider and caretaker – makes today’s dads all the greater.
So, I don’t believe there’s a fatherhood crisis at all. I contend that fatherhood is alive and well, and there’s a lot of great dads out there.
Chances are, you are the Greatest Dad around.