Looking at Dad in a whole new light

What is a dad?

Even in today’s transmorphic society, the answer seems simple: a male parent. But those who are dads know the real answer is much more complex.

Gone are the days when Dad was the guy who trundled off to work in a three-piece suit and returned home to a hearty dinner, a pipe full of tobacco and the evening paper. And no, dads have not devolved into the beer-swilling, underwear-picking, TV-addicted sports junkie so commonly depicted in today’s media.

Being a dad in modern America is a chaotic, complicated job defined by a litany of seemingly contradictory requirements.

Dads today have to be loving but also tough. They have to be rugged, but sensitive too. They need to be a good provider but also make time for family. They need to know their way around the garage as well the kitchen. For those who still push the lawnmower, that’s great, but today’s pop has to get behind the baby stroller, too. You get the idea.

In reality, there is no single way to define Dad. Society continues to evolve and, so, too, have the roles and responsibilities of the American father.

Women today account for nearly half of the U.S. workforce and almost 60 percent of the college graduates. Many men are taking advantage of paternity leave while others are staying home to trade their power meetings for play dates. It’s no wonder the workplace is changing.

Most dads— particularly those who choose to do the heavy lifting of parenthood—don’t have the time or energy to care how others may define them. Father’s job can be a hot mess at times and getting a handle on it isn’t easy. Which is okay for modern Dad because they understand that being a father really boils down to just one main task: to love Mom faithfully and to love the kids unconditionally, even when you want to strangle them.

Each year, The Acorn gives Mom her due on Mother’s Day. On Father’s Day, Dad is not forgotten. This year we invited our readers—the young ones—to use a template found in the newspaper and online to draw a picture of dear old Dad.

You can see all the daffy drawings starting on Page 26. We’ve got dads with mustaches, dads with cool hair and dads looking swarthy. Some are funny, some are downright spooky. Look for the drawings online, too, at www.theacorn.com.

This week, please enjoy our special Draw Dad tribute for Father’s Day. You’ll see the old man in a whole new light.