He called me “Doll”, and even the most ardent feminist in me felt not trivialized and objectified but loved and supported. He said things like “If bullfrogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their fannies” and “I don’t give a rat’s ass what so-and-so said or did, you are not them, you are Jeanne.” He didn’t coddle or smother or take over, but he was always ready and available to help if asked. He  repeated the good things he learned about parenting from his dad and replaced the not-so-good things with something better. He taught my daughter and me what to look for in a good man, and he taught my son how to be a good man. He died way too young, and I miss him every single day.

He calls them Al and Kipp and tells them things like “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wrong” and “Where you are today is a result of the choices you’ve made.” He doesn’t coddle or smother or take over, but he is always ready and willing to help if asked. He taught my daughter what a good man is, and he taught my son how to be one.

One is my daddy, one is the father of my children. I can’t imagine anybody else I’d rather have be my dad or dad to my children. Both are dads I celebrate and cherish, remember and honor not just today, but pretty much every day.

To all the good dads – the loving, supportive, nurturing dads – Happy Father’s Day and thank you for making the world a better place by raising Good kids. To all the sorry men who had the same chance as other men to be a good dad but didn’t bother, shame on you.