When I first got into blogging about six years ago there was this constant urge to, if not overwhelming obsession with, trying to convince the world that good dads existed, especially the so-called good black dad. But in relation to the internet six years ago might as well be sixty. Since then the daddy blog, Facebook and Twitter crazes have made it nearly impossible for anyone to dispute that good dads of all races exist. Dads are talking and “helping” each other in droves and I suppose this is a good thing.
Of course there is plenty of room for more good dads. Saying that the problem of absenteeism and weak father/child connections in the black community and across communities is solved would be insane. However, I think that the push to convince the world that good dads exist is essentially over. You can’t look at the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, and wonder if there are any good dads. I try not to reference world leaders, celebrities, or super rich people with tons of resources when I talk about good dads mainly because I don’t know any world leaders, celebrities, or super rich dads personally. But I do know bloggers (and also dads who don’t care about blogging in the least) who love nothing more than spending time with their children and coming up with ways to make their lives more fulfilling.
I believe it’s time to re-frame the dad discussion. At the risk of sounding cliche, times are changing. I’m not sure if I can, or want to, keep up with the times, but for argument’s sake let’s say I do (is that my tongue pressed against my cheek?). What I would propose would be to look at dads through a wellness lens. As a whole person, not just some lame dude who can’t change a diaper without duct tape, who matters.
Each dad is a man first. He can have all kinds of pluses and minuses. He can be eight different kinds of jerk, or two kinds of jerk and six kinds of cool, or any combination thereof. But every time, no matter how you do the math, those eight parts will be one whole man who can be loved or hated or both or neither. That’s why I am exploring a wellness approach that considers the entire dad. I’ve always had more ambition than hours in the day, so we’ll see what happens.