Looking around at my friends, my students, and the news, I know how lucky I am for the fathers in my life. We don't get to choose our fathers. But if we did, I know the line for mine would be very long. It was always a source of some inchoate pride for me that my dad was so well liked and well respected in our social circle. He's genuine, fun to be around, easy-going, and great company.
We do get to choose our kids' fathers, but we might not have suitability for fatherhood as the first consideration when we do. When Noel and I got married, I certainly wasn't picturing the way our life is arranged now, with him staying home and assuming primary childcare responsbilities. Anybody who has met our kids, though, knows what an amazing father he's turned out to be.
I read in the paper about, see on television, and occasionally -- sadly -- meet fathers whom none of us would want in our lives. None of us go to a school to learn how to be parents; we learn by observing, for better or for worse, the people who raise us. If it took an unbroken string of perfect parenting for us to be able to do a good job, we'd be in trouble. So I feel doubly fortunate that both I and my children got such a head start. Love you, Dad. Love you, Noel. Happy Father's Day, everyone.