The Importance of Fathers

by Rexanne Mancini

Eskimo kissesThere is no doubt that mothers play an all-important leading role in the lives of their children. They are the obvious heroes of child rearing. But what about a father's role? Just how important are the dads of the world compared to the almighty image of mother? My belief is that fathers play just as important a role as mothers. Different, yes. Possibly not as nurturing, not as all-sacrificing but just as important in the developmental and emotional well being of a child.

Dads are the solid foundation of our lives. They are the shore we swim to when our arms and legs feel increasingly tired. They are the strength we rely on as we take our first tentative steps into the world. Dads can be tender, tough, fragile or powerful but they are probably the most uncomplicated love we will ever know.

For daughters, Daddy is the first man they adore ... the first man whose eyes shine with overwhelming amazement when they look at us. He is the first man to fall in love with us.

For sons, Daddy is the idol they first aspire to emulate ... their mirror image of what will be and possibly the only man they will ever feel comfortable loving.

Daddy is the first man who held us, as a loving parent, with a lump in his throat so huge, only the joy of that love could erase the overwhelming pain of choking on unexpected raw emotion. I think when a father holds his newborn baby, he is touched by pure vulnerability for the first time in his adult life, leaving him forever humbled by the unexplained miracles of life.

For mothers, the father of our children is the one person we can trust to watch over our babies as closely as we would. We are secure in the knowledge of their love for our precious offspring. Dad is the only other person in the world as fascinated with every nuance and murmur of our babies. He is the one person on the planet with whom we can indulge our need to brag and carry on about our kid's accomplishments and heartaches ad nauseum ... one who will be just as interested and never yawn in the face of our devotion.

Without dads, we wouldn't be moms. I would like to take the liberty of thanking them from all our hearts for this honor and for being our partners in this business of raising children.

Know how much you are loved and revered, guys! You are our trusted soldiers and we need you more than you will ever realize.

Rexanne Mancini is the mother of two daughters, Justice and Liberty. She is a novelist, freelance writer and maintains an extensive yet informal parenting and family web site, Rexanne.com.

Copyright © Rexanne Mancini. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.