The Man That Makes a Father


When Father’s Day rolls around I find myself in a mad dash trying to figure out what to do for my father…well, my father and my stepdad…well, my father, my stepdad, and my husband.

Yes, it’s a little complicated, but not, by any means, out of the ordinary.

I am always in this emotional frenzy of taking this day seriously yet ultimately feeling somewhat blue, moody, guilt ridden, and, quite frankly, screwed which makes me want to ditch the day, burn it at the stake, and never look back.

I have done this every year…since I grew up, took the blinders off, and realized what a true “father” is.

Definitions of the word “father” are provided by a multitude of dictionaries including the Urban Dictionary which is giggle worthy, but I will let you look up that one on your own. These definitions are surprisingly plentiful, clinical, and void of any feeling.

Click here if you can’t stand it. Urban Dictionary- Father

So, the question remains…what is my responsibility?

I have two fathers–one that is biologically mine and one that is mine through marriage. Wow, two! Well, I still feel somewhat fatherless…in father limbo.

There’s just not really another way to describe it. You only get one dad. When that one isn’t there anymore, it never quite feels the same. You have loyalty issues. You have issues with feeling like your stepdad isn’t really yours, and you have the ultimate issue of not being loved (by the man that was originally yours) enough for him to stay or at the very least stay close.

Death certainly makes this situation incredibly different. Death wouldn’t be a choice…well unless it was suicide. Then, my friend, you certainly have different issues than myself, yet still issues of him leaving by choice.

These issues are no joke.

So, when I snap out of that train of thought, my next thought is to recognize the father in my life that belongs to my children; he is the father that I so desperately want to be everything to my girls that my father inevitably wasn’t to me.

Sounds reasonable, right?

My father was a wonderful dad to me. He was my hero. He was my favorite (sorry mom). I loved him so much that I thought my heart might actually burst when he loved on me. I actually thought that if I were to ever lose him, I would not be able to go on.

(I now know that I can.)

He filled my cup to overflowing and then some…until he eventually did the unthinkable–left, moved away, claimed his new family, and eventually allowed me to be slowly phased out of his life.

This rocked my world. I pretended it didn’t, but it did. I was tough, and not going to let this speed bump set the stage for my future–not an option…but I now know that it shaped me in some ways.

Some fathers move their responsibility to new families. Some fathers stop being responsible at all, and some fathers step into responsibility that doesn’t technically belong to them, yet they are man enough and loving enough to take on that responsibility by choice.

I’ve been affected by all of the above.


What a father may not know about a girl is that she needs him there to keep her safe, to make her feel protected, to be the spiritual leader of the home, to show her how to respect a man, how to act like a lady, how to hold her tongue when wild horses seem to be ripping it from her, how to keep herself pure, how to look for Godly qualities in the man she wants to marry, and she needs him to wrestle with her and tickle her until she can’t breathe.

A girl needs every one of these things.

Father and sonWhat a father may not know about the incredible responsibility he owes to a boy is that he needs to teach him how to be confident. He needs to teach him structure–to be self-disciplined, how to be tough in life when tough is the last thing he wants to be, how to respect a woman and how to treat her the way she needs to be treated as well as how to be respectable.

He needs to know how to be emotional and tender, and how to let his guard down when someone needs to connect with him.

He needs to teach him how to start a fire and cut the grass. He needs to teach him how to nail a nail (straight), how to use a drill, how to drive a stick shift, and ultimately how to be a man–someone willing to do what they need to do for their family or their friends when they are needed whether it be cold, rainy, or hot like the Sahara.

daddy girls 3

What a father needs to give all his children is discipline that says, “I love you, and I care about your future,” prayers at night to remember who comes first and last each day, gas money, and time, time, and more time. A good father is there for events that matter…and those that don’t.

Daddy and girls 4
A good father is willing to take the more difficult route in order to teach a lesson even though it may mean suffering for himself as well.

A good father is supportive when you succeed and when you fail.

daddy and girls 5

daddy and girls

So, ladies, take care of your men out there-they deserve it, and for the ones that don’t–forgive them, and for the ones that could do better–love them through it, and for the ones that are “Rock Star” dads–make sure they know how you feel.

For the fathers that are yet to be, show them you have faith in them while revealing your expectations.

Dads, whether biological or inherited, are a gift from God and deserve to have this special day in their honor.

daddy girls 2

Where would we be without the men in our lives?

Happy Father’s Day 6/21/15.

About Amy Rafferty Slagle

I am a middle school teacher juggling career, husband (ooh la la), and twin tomboys (good grief). I have a passion for writing and crave laughter just about as much as frozen yogurt. This is my attempt at sharing the madness of my world, my mind, and my humor. View all posts by Amy Rafferty Slagle

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