What Makes a Father a Dad
Published on: December 06, 2019
We all have different perceptions of what a father should be. In this article, Noah tells us of his personal journey of discovering fatherhood and why every day is Father’s Day.
By Kevin Noah Windfield
Growing up in the 1970s without a father was a very difficult situation for my brother and I. We were the only family we knew of that had only one parent. Our mother worked multiple jobs to provide for us and some of my friend’s fathers filled in for occasional sporting events. Fathers are very important to son’s the way mothers are to their daughters. Not having this, my brother and I always felt on the outside looking in, but we did not let this event define who we were. As we got older, we realized that our mother was filling in nicely in the absence of a father, and life went on.
Throughout his life, a man picks up traits that make him who he is. They can come from family, friends, work, school or more likely life experiences. During my life I knew I had a great upbringing and I was instilled with great family values. As I went away to college my mother told me to be the man I am supposed to be. At first, I did not realize what she was saying, and it did take several years for it to take effect but anyway I marched on and went off to college.
Now college is where a boy needs his dad for sure, amongst other times in one’s life. There are so many situations where friends would say “Hey, let me call my Dad and ask him what to do.” In my first year in college, I found myself asking my dorm roommate to call his dad to find out the answer to one of life’s pressing questions that had to be answered right then and there. This was a time before Google or the internet was there to find out quick answers. Today you can go online and get responses from real dads at many help groups like BKK Dads in real-time. But back in the day, a real live person was needed, and we would ask the questions and wait to hear what to do next, assuming he was near a phone at home or work. If not, then one waited until he became available.
During my second year at school, I decided to go and study abroad for a year. Leaving the country of my birth was not difficult at all. I had done this when I was 12 and was fine with the new experiences. The big difference between 12 and 19 for a boy though is worlds apart. At 19 I was experiencing everything that a young man experiences and having a great time and finding limitations. The downside is whenever you meet new people and start to get close, they all ask the same question “What does your father do for a living?” I became good at avoiding this question and changing the subject. As time marched on I started to pick up how I would like to be as a dad but didn’t give it much thought as life went on.
My purpose in life was to be a father to both my daughters and to make their life the best life possible. That, in turn, has made my life the best possible too.
I never celebrated Father’s Day (either the second Sunday in June or 5 December). My brother had three sons in the 1990s and was enjoying being a father. I enjoyed being an uncle but really never gave it that much thought.
Everything changed for me when I met my wife and she announced on early one Friday morning that she was pregnant. Feelings changed but the real impact was not felt then as being pregnant was still not quite being a father.
The real reason for my existence was felt on 26 March 2007, the day my first daughter was born. That day is burned into my conscious as the day I realized why I was on this earth. As I held her in my arms when she was seconds old and took care of her while my wife recuperated, the emotions of my whole life came rushing back. I now had a reason for my questions.
From that day forward I knew what I was going to do — be the best Dad I could be. I have made it a goal of mine never to be away from my daughters for too long and to teach them everything I know and more. My wife and I want to provide everything we can for our daughters and for them to have a much better life then we did.
For the first year of fatherhood, I read about what others thought a father was and took the bits I agreed with and left the rest. That year we celebrated Father’s Day for the first time in June and December and it was an excellent feeling. So much so that I decided that every day is Father’s Day if we can teach and speak with them in a loving, caring manner to improve who they are and, in the meantime, my kids help me develop myself every day. Several years went by and we were blessed with a second daughter in March 2013. This journey continues with my girls every day now and will continue to form the rest of my life. My purpose in life was to be a father to both my daughters and to make their life the best life possible. That, in turn, has made my life the best possible too.
About the Author
Kevin has lived in Thailand for almost 27 years and is an active member of American and Jewish community groups as well as Facebook group @bkkdadshq where dads discuss living and raising a family in Thailand.
Kevin owns Manhattan Asset Management Company with his wife Khun Urai. Manhattan provides all types of insurance from car, condo, contents, home, office, all risk, liability health, life, and employee benefits. Kevin and Urai have two beautiful daughters Samantha, 12 and Daniella, 6. Please reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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