“The first mistake most new parents make is to take the baby home, leaving behind a hospital full of professionals.”
So begins Chris Erskine’s book “Daditude: The Joys & Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood.”
Doing our research for this editorial, we checked out titles on Amazon by searching “books about fatherhood.”
Our query yielded thousands of choices.
There are those that had us laughing: “Sh*t My Dad Says” by Justin Halpern, “ Dad Is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan and “Confessions of the World’s Best Father” by Dave Engledow.
Then there are those that we like to call the “empowering colon” titles—Michael Byron Smith’s “The Power of Dadhood: How to Become the Father Your Child Needs” and Meg Meeker’s “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know.”
There are books that address a father’s need to provide, like Robert T. Kiyosaki’s international best-seller “Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”
Or those geared toward rebooting our dad bods, like Matt Worthy’s “Ripped Dad: Fit After 45.”
We know that in the vast landscape of Amazon warehouses, there are many more titles offering unique takes on fatherhood.
It reminds us that the role of dad, father, papa, “the old man,” or whatever you want to call him, defies one single definition.
From those agrarian days when dads stayed home to care for farm and family— to more modern times when fathers began reporting to factories and office buildings in order to bring home the bacon, the definition of fatherhood and what it entails has changed.
And while all great dads share certain character traits—love, patience, respect, humor, wisdom, stability (you get the idea)—there is no how-to manual on putting those qualities to work for the betterment of hearth and home.
What’s amazing is that no matter how many dads there have been over the eons, each is unique in his own way.
The myriad books about fatherhood are a reminder that no one has all the answers, especially those who think they do.
Dads, feel free to grab one of these primers online, at the bookstore or at the library. Learn a few pointers and chuckle at the same time.
And while you’re at it on this Father’s Day 2019, kick off your shoes and take a well-deserved afternoon nap. Those chores can wait, and that ripped body you long for can happen another time.
It is, after all, your special day.