Anne Geddes is quoted as saying “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” The level of involvement a father has in their child’s life is dependent on a lot of factors. There are men out there who have never been a ‘dad’ to their child for various reasons. Maybe they were separated from their child, maybe they worked too hard to provide for the family and didn’t have time, maybe they separated themselves from their child to pursue their own interests, maybe they didn’t know how to be a dad. Some dads are “born dads”. You know the ones. They want to be there for their child, teach them everything they know, keep them safe, give them rules, play with them and be their child’s hero. Some dads are the authority figure, the final word, the breadwinner, the man of the house, the fix-it guy. Some dads are the ‘ask your mother’ type, ones who leave everything related to child-rearing to Mum.
Whoever your father is or was, whatever role he plays or played in your life, whether he was someone you wanted to be like or someone you never wanted to be like… he is who he is and you can only hope that he did the best he could. If the only thing he ever taught you was ‘what not to do’, it was something. Whether you had a father or a dad or a step-dad or a papa or another man who was like a father-figure, they left you something, they gave you a piece of themselves and what you do with it is up to you.