Father’s day is here again.
Many children who are fortunate to still have fathers in their lives would celebrate the occasion with their dads while some would not be so privileged due to circumstances.
A father.

1. a male parent.
2. a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
3. any male ancestor, especially the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor.
4. a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider: a father to the poor.
I particularly love the first part of the 4th definition: “a man who exercises paternal care over other persons…”
The person may or may not be the sperm donor but the act of exercising paternal loving care over other persons qualify them as a father. Some end up having more than one dad; no paternity dispute either, just a rare privilege of having more than one awesome man doing the paternal care exercise.  
Fatherhood is not defined by ones last name or DNA, some people end up completely with a different father from the one who donated the sperm at their conception; it is really about how a man raises a child and less about the biological or physical aspect of the bearing.
So this tribute is to all the father figures in my life, those valiant men who keeps me in their heart; loving me, warts and all.
Thinking about fatherhood I realize that it continues to change in many ways how a father raises a child. I am certain there are 1001 things my father could have learn t from the ‘new generation’ dads of today where child-raising is concerned but there are also certain tips ‘new generation’ dads of today could learn from my dad.
And now to my short list of ‘real father’ qualities:

A real father is a man who steps up to his responsibility, the full responsibility of being a dad
A real father instills discipline appropriately
A real father allows his kids to make mistakes, sees it as part of growing up and an avenue to learn
A real father spends quality time with his children
A real father gets on the floor, on all fours to play with his kids
A real father leads by example
A real father is affectionate, very loving
A true father is an epitome of strength, the hard rocky type.
A true father provides and protects
A real father is always willing to drop or adjust his schedule just to be there for his kids
A true father ensures the needs of his wards are met first; not necessarily showering them with materialism
A real father works hard

A real father inspires
A real father teaches the values of respect, honesty, integrity, dignity of labor or hard work 
A real father lays up treasures for his kids 
A real father gets his priorities straight. spot on.
A real father leaves a lasting legacy
A real father invests time and effort
A real father keeps his words
A real father imparts wisdom to his children
A real dad does not abuse or negatively treat his children’s mother
A real dad shows up for his kids’ activities
A real dad gives his kids freedom to explore and express themselves
A real dad is an equal partner in parenting  his children
A real dad is genuinely interested in his children’s lives and development
A real father models the virtues he want to see in his children
A real dad puts his children’s well being ahead of his
A real dad is a spiritual leader, guiding his kids hearts towards God

The above list is by no means exhaustive, you may add your own.

The best things in life are free and so are the father figures in my life – my biological dad, dad-in-law, brothers, brothers-in-law, friends, colleagues, bosses, and you reading this post. You are all special and even though I may not get to say this physically, I LOVE YOU ALL.

And to my dad, even though you were seldom there when we really needed you to be a father to us, you are still loved and appreciated today. No one is perfect after all and everything in life happens for a purpose. We came through you for a purpose and will forever be grateful for having a greater DAD, the All Sufficient One who took care of us through those long years.

And now to a different kind of dad I met 8 years back in that beautiful ‘village’ far away in Adamawa State where we were thrown together by divine design.

You have given the word ‘father’ a new twist; the word, ‘Dad’ certainly takes on a new meaning with you.

Being a father is not a simple task, never mind a cool one.

There are days you would be extremely tired but you still have to raise a smile for the kids;
Days you would need a new pair of anything and you’ld see the invoice from the school;
Days you would put their needs-though it could wait- well before yours;
Days you would be tired but still have to do piggy ride with them;
Days they would unknowingly smash your phone while playing and you’ld camly pick the pieces;
Days you’ld put your official duties on brief hold so you could dash to the kids’ school -more than an hour round trip, just so they’ld not be disapointed dad was not present to cheer them on during their presentation;
Days you’ld just want to watch your beloved Man U play after dinner and D1 would insist you come to lie with him on his bed;
Days you would want to lie down on the rug after a heavy dinner and they would turn your full tummy to a bouncing castle;
Days you would have to discipline in love;
Days you’ld have to cajole and reason;
Days you’ld have to teach and impart.

Days you would be glad you are a father to these wonderful kids.
Especially when you hear songs D1 has to sing for you: “Daddy you are great, daddy you are nice, thank you for making me what I am today…I shall forever be grateful” or “Baba o baba o baba o, Oluwa da baba si fun wa” or “I love you, daddy, you love me…or if you are happy and you know say daddy…”

My brother, my friend, my lover, my confidant. MY FATHER.
You are a rare breed and as I watch you with the kids, I always offer a silent thanks to the almighty knowing the kids could never get a better dad, than you. They got a better deal after all.

To ‘Temi’ and all the awesome fathers out there, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY.
May you get many more healthy, peaceful, prosperous and beautiful years with your wards.

You still got a dad? Celebrate him, let him know you love him.
Time / distance / circumstances has driven a wedge between you and your dads? Reflect and recognize the important roles they played in days gone by.


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