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No Doofus Dads in This Family

 The media likes to portray dads as inept, clueless, helpless and bumbling. Dad is painted as a doofus. It gets a laugh. And sells more ties and power tools.

In a culture where 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America grow up without a father in the home (according to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data), I celebrate the men in my family who accept responsibility as an equal partner in this thing called life.

My husband, Greg, my son, Ethan and my son-in-law, Mike have never shied away from changing a diaper, making a midnight run to the 24-hour pharmacy or letting Mom sleep in for some desperately needed rest.

Greg has provided an example of integrity and wisdom, lessons not learned from a text book. He has modeled how to treat every person with respect and dignity. Yes, he read our children bedtime stories and played rough-and-tumble with them. But more importantly, he always made it clear that his family was a priority and that he would be there come what may.

Ethan’s wife, Jilian, once told me she “knew what kind of husband and father Ethan would be by how he treated his mother.” Wise woman! Ethan has demonstrated his love-is-a-verb mentality in uncountable ways. He juggles work and family with flair. I’m amazed at his creativity in suggesting (and participating in) unique activities for his family. His girls are growing up attending sporting events, visiting museums, going to the zoo, the farmer’s market and numerous festivals and events. What a guy!

Mike is a gem. During Michelle’s pregnancy, Mike attended every doctor’s appointment, every ultrasound and every scary or celebratory pregnancy-related event. He was there.  He and Michelle parent shoulder-to-shoulder and hand-in-hand. He offers moral support, encouragement and praise. I watched with admiration when he practiced step-by-step how to wrap a Moby so he could carry Audrey securely next to his chest. This is Family with a capital F.

The men in my family are not doofuses – nor are they spectators. They are on the playing field, running plays and throwing the occasional Hail Mary.

Happy Father’s Day, guys. I love you, appreciate you and celebrate you!