On My Soapbox: Dads vs. Fathers

There is a difference between a father and a dad. These three men are all fathers who became dads.

This column represents the thoughts and opinion of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

My kids call me Daddy or Dada (yeah, they still call me that sometimes). My siblings and I still call our dad Deddy. I’m sure everyone calls their dad something different.

Sometimes I get a little irritated when Jasmine is mad at me because she calls me “father.” It’s just not the same.

There is a different between being a father and being a dad. Both help make their children, but in a different way. To me, a father is a person who helps create a child. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, because we all start as fathers, and later become dads.

I had some excellent examples growing up, so I’m not taking all of the credit. I saw my dad treat my mother the way a woman should be treated. I saw him work extremely hard to take care of his family. I saw him be a father figure to me and my brother’s friends when they didn’t have one in their life.

That’s what a dad does.

In the movies you see the dad go out and throw a baseball or teach their son how to fix a car or cut down a tree. Okay, we didn’t cut down trees, but I learned how to check my oil, change my tires, shoot a basketball and so on. We didn’t live a movie life, but my dad did all the things you would expect.

I hope that I’m doing the same for my girls.

When I became a father I never realized I would be going to tea parties, dressing up like a knight for a princess party, playing with unicorns, building toys and vehicles or using action figures to help move Barbies into a new dream house – yes, my 30-year old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures moved furniture while Jasmine and her dolls laid on couch and sipped lemonade.

We also have a thing called Dadurday. It’s pretty cool, just me and the girls hanging out. No moms allowed.

I see how my brother teaches and interacts with his three daughters, so I know I’m not alone. Two of the toughest people I have ever known are suckers when it comes to little girls – my sister included.

Some people may not agree that there is a difference between a dad and father, but there is.

Dads go to the end of the earths to make their children happy. They will apply discipline when necessary but will give their life for their child in a heartbeat.

I was happy to become a father, but I was even happier to become a dad.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, but I want to wish all dads a Happy Father’s Day. Today is your day, so tell the wife you are not barbecuing because it’s your day.

"Dads are like chocolate chip cookies; they may have chips or be totally nutty, but they are sweet and make the world a better place."

- Hillary Lytle

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