If today is your day, are you a father or a dad?

Published 9:24 pm Saturday, June 15, 2013

It’s a special day for many of you out there, a time for dads to be honored by their children.

It’s Father’s Day. But let’s face it. Not all dads out there are worthy of any special attention. Not all fathers are dads. I think the day should be called Dad’s Day, not Father’s Day.

There’s an old saying: “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy.”

A father is the male parent of a child. But dad, or daddy, that’s a term of affection and familiarity. Dads participate in their child’s growth and development. They provide loving discipline and emotional support. Dads teach their children how to ride a bike, throw a ball and drive a car. They are responsible and teach their children that responsibility. They teach their children right from wrong.

Dads are a part of their child’s life. And they’d have it no other way.

Today too many kids are growing up without a dad. Some have fathers who are absent, or fathers who might as well be. Those aren’t dads.

Dads don’t necessarily have to be the father. There are many loving stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, even family friends who fill a void in a child’s life.

I recently had a conversation about something along these lines with a friend. Her child is feeling the neglect of the father and isn’t sure how to handle it. I reminded my friend that while it’s understandable the child is longing for the love of a dad, the child actually has that love and just doesn’t realize it.

This child is actually one of the lucky ones. There’s a grandfather in the picture who has been a major part of the child’s life. There’s an uncle who’s always been there, with both time and emotional support. And there’s a stepparent who is continuing the loving guidance these two men have provided for years.

Fathers, what kind of daddy are you? Are you worthy of being honored today?

I’ve shared this poem before, but it is definitely worth sharing again.

What Makes A Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagle’s flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity,

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so, He called it … Dad

– Author Unknown

Sandy Cunningham, publisher of The Daily News, can be reached at sandy.cunningham@wickcommunications.com