I’ve always had a thing for fathers, probably because I have such a great relationship with my own father. Ever since I can remember he’s been a friend, a comedian, a caretaker, and nurturer to me. He’s made me feel loved, safe, protected, valuable and beautiful always.
I remember when I was in college being on campus with a man I was in love with and seeing him pick a little girl he knew and spin her around until her feet left the ground. I didn’t know it was possible to fall deeper in love with him but at that moment I did. He was the first person whose children I wanted to have, though that was not to be. But I knew he wanted to be a father I knew he loved children. And it was important to me.
When I was a girl I was in love with Michael Landon who played Charles Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie” not just because he was handsome, solidly built with a great mane of thick dark curly hair and could fix anything. LOL!! But also because he loved his family and would do anything for them. It didn’t hurt that he shared a very special bond with daughter Laura which I understand now reflected my own father’s love back at me. He engaged her curiosity, imagination and love of play and learning. My other favorite TV dads Graham, from “My So-Called Life” and yes, Heathcliff Huxtable from the “Cosby Show” demonstrated the kind of sensitivity, humor, patience and courage needed to deal with children at various stages of their development with the help of smart, understanding, sweet multitasking, no nonsense wives.
My favorite reality tv dad? Rev Run. I could seriously watch “Runs House” all day. “Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers,” “Rev Runs Around the World.” I love it all.
This morning as I was getting dressed for work, Obama’s teary face appeared again on the news as they recounted his gun control speech and I just thought about the beautiful powerful message communicated in his ability to shed tears on camera, how powerful it has always been and will continue to be for future generations. He doesn’t try to hide his feelings or demonstrate a fake tough exterior. His toughness is real and so is his vulnerability. He is a father and tragedy that strikes at children anywhere is something he clearly responds to from a heart space because he is a loving father.
Good fathers are a blessing and an inspiration and as much as Obama is known for being the children’s favorite President right now, I believe that the powerful influence of his devotional example is still on the rise in ways yet to seen, heard and felt.