Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just what is a "Great Dad"?

Someone recently told me that they were sure I'd " a great dad." I asked them how can they be so sure, to which they replied "I'm sure you'll do a great job, just like your dad did with you!" I smiled, said "Gee, Thanks, I guess I never thought of it that way!"... and then started thinking...

And thinking... and thinking... and thinking... I love my dad, and think I have a good relationship with him - though admittedly not as good as I'd like to have - and lots of family and friends insist that I will be a "great dad" but...

The reality of the situation is that the Cuban Revolution wreaked chaos on my family, just as it did to so many others. As a result, when I was 18 months old, my father was unable to migrate with the rest of my family as we left Cuba to come to the United States on our raft of tires (okay, I'm embelishing here - there was no tire raft, we actually flew over on a plane - but as I writer, isn't that a liberty allowed to me?)... Because of the politics of the situation, my dad wound up stuck in Cuba for years, during which time he remarried and raised two daughters.

Now, I'm not trying to cry "poor me" by any means - after all, I had the opportunity to grow up here in the "Land of the Free" surrounded by my mom, grandparents, and other close family members (how many people actually knew their great grandparents? I did!)... My family did a great job raising me, imparting a strong sense of ethics and hard work. Between my grandfather and uncle/godfather, it's not like I lacked any fatherly figures, but they weren't my dad...

I never did have anyone show me how to toss a ball, cast a fishing reel, ride a bike, recognize a birch tree, track a deer, or do any of those things that Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Good Parenting, or any of those fatherhood websites say you're supposed to do with your kids... Though I do know how to spot deer droppings, and a robin's egg (thanks to the 2nd Potato)... Gee, I hope these things will come as natural as typing on a keyboard does!

So, just what makes a "great dad"? For that matter, what makes a "good dad"? I don't know how to toss a ball, cast a fishing reel, recognize a birch tree, track a deer, or do any of those things yet! Geez, I just learned how to ride a bike two years ago!

Wow - what pressure!!... I'm hoping some of this just comes naturally, and think I'm going to just focus on being a dad - which is going to be TOTALLY NEW, takes a little pressure off, and might be easier!

So to help me figure out what to do, I decided to invest in two books (I know, I know... but I'm hoping they can help)!!
  1. The New Father - A Dad's Guide to the First Year (2nd Edition), by Armin A. Brott
  2. Your Baby's First Year week by week (2nd Edition), by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler

Both books seem great, and I think we'll try to blog weekly about how the tater tots compare against the week by week book!

Wow - I can't believe we're going to be dads!!



  1. Okay my Potato friend!! I know for a fact that you will be a great dad!! You want to know how I know this, I have seen first hand how you interact with kids. You talk to them, not at them. You respect them, you make them feel comfortable and worthy!! I can understand why you'd want to check into some books, but personally you really don't need to. Just continue to do what you've done with my children and countless other children I'm sure...just be you!!!!

  2. Hi! Newcomer to your blog..
    Just wanted to tell you that the fact that you WANT to be a good dad automatically qualifies you to be one!!
    And, do yourself a favor and toss out all those books. Seriously! I read parenting books and they just confuse you and restrict you! Believe me, you WILL know how to respond to your kid..its inherent in don't need a book to tell you how!
    If you don't believe me, here's a lady who is wiser than I saying the same thing: