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Real Fathers Play Through The Pain

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I injured my right foot on my birthday, which was Thursday, March 30. My fiancée, Kandise, and her daughter, Johlie, were visiting from Virginia. After having lunch with some of my coworkers, we toured the Detroit Zoo. We were leaving when I decided to race Johlie to the main exit. I wanted to win one for “the old folk” and pulled a muscle in my foot.

Needless to say, I was in pain all night. Neither a foot massage nor an ankle wrap provided relief. I had to suck it up, though, because the next day I had to attend a daddy-daughter dance with my youngest daughter, 11-year-old Ivana.

The dance is sponsored every year by Ivana’s Girl Scout “cult,” as her big sisters are so fond of calling it. So, there I was, limping, gingerly leaping, and even somehow leading some of the scouts with some of my suave dance moves. For real though, even though I cannot dance at all, I thoroughly enjoyed the indoor beach party and was pleased that Ivana was pleased with my effort.

Then Saturday came. I could barely walk by then, but, again, I had to “play through the pain.” This time because my niece, Briana, held her birthday party at a roller skating rink.

You better know it: I skated like I was practicing to watch Senior Olympics try-outs! Round and round I went, my foot screaming at each turn, “Ya know, it sure would be nice if you were to lift me every once in a while!”

There was a time when I would have used my foot injury as a ready excuse not to do something with my daughters and niece that I really was not up to. However, I have come to a place in my life where I take such joy in them that the joy also gives me strength to just “keep on keepin’ on.”

A couple of days ago, Ivana left this cute message in my guestbook on my website:

I love my daddy very dearly. He is the most changed man I have ever met. He was never really a mean daddy. Just a little troubled. He’s really nice, funny and smart now. Mr. Computerman. He takes me and my sisters shopping and everything. Now that’s what you call a real man! Haheha, I’m funny, aren’t I! My dad is super super super nice and everything. Once again, he’s like super daddy!

Yes, Ivana, a “real man,” a real father takes his children “shopping and everything.” And, like a great mom, he often does so regardless of how he feels and whatever else is going on in his life.

Sure, there are times when even a “super daddy” must reschedule or postpone an outing, but his love for his children drives him to do everything within his power to keep his word.

It is not always easy or convenient for a father, especially a divorcee like me living outside “the home,” to spend time with his children. Nevertheless we must, because doing so can and often does make a powerful difference in their and our lives.

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