Everyone has a father, but not everyone has a daddy. Most men become fathers, but many never become daddies.
Think about it: For about 10 years of a father’s life, per child, usually overlapping, we have our kids call us “daddy.” Then they’re off doing other things. When they’re grown, we can be proud of them, or we can support them, but we’re not really “daddy” anymore in the way as when they’re small.
Fathers can be providers, authority figures, or strangers. But daddies are heroes, playmates, wise wizards, and monster-slayers.
Fathers can have double, or triple or even more lives. They can be like “Joe,” a married man who’s alter ego is being the “birth father” for women who want a child but no daddy. Fathers can be the man who comes home from work, plops in front of the television with a six-pack, and goes back to work the next day. “Stay away from daddy, he’s had a hard day.” When the kids aren’t hiding from his drunken rages.
Daddies come home tired but play Legos or toss the baseball around with their kids just the same. Daddies cook big pancake breakfasts when they are on a diet and can’t eat pancakes (yes, I’ve done this and it’s not fun!). Daddies skip watching the football game to go to the park, or if it’s raining, watch endless reruns of kid shows instead of the news.
There’s always time to be a father, because fatherhood just happens. Kids grow up if the father is there or not. Kids grow up if dad is paying attention to them or to his work. Kids grow up before you know it.
Being a daddy is a choice. It’s hard work. It’s sacrifice. And it’s over too fast.
All told, I’ll choose being a daddy over anything else in life. It’s what God created us to do–be fruitful and multiply. Fathers simply multiply, but daddies produce fruit.
And God smiles.