Fathers Should Know These Things Are Appreciated!

Write about what you know, they said. So, I write about being a mom. I do not always know what I am doing or how it will turn out, but I have an amazing mom and I am mom to two amazing sons. Thus, the majority of my writing is about being a ‘boy mom’. However….

With Father’s Day quickly approaching and a recent fishing trip with my little family, it occurred to me that sometimes dad’s ‘mom’, too.

I thought I was fine. My pale white skin glowing as bright as the sun. However, I was mostly covered, wearing a large hat, sunglasses, and long shorts. Plus, there was a canopy overhead. I was fine.

And then….

My own dad, at my rife old age of 43, said: “You are burning! Put on some sunscreen.” So, I pulled up my hair and my then-husband helped submerge the hard-to-reach places on my back and shoulders with the icky, oily, white stuff. I still got sunburnt, mind you, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

About an hour or so later, my oldest son said: “Mom! You are so red. You need sunscreen!” Again, I pulled up my hair and this time, my 13-year-old son, begrudgingly helped apply the oily substance that only protects if you use it.

I did not think much about this fairly normal interaction until a few days later. When my sunburn dissipated, and my skin returned to its typical pale hue. I found it endearing that both my father, and my son, were concerned for my skin’s safety. Dads often get a bad rap for not paying enough attention, or allowing just a little more rough housing than moms care to permit. However, when push comes to shove, many times dads ‘mom’ it just as fiercely as moms do. Albeit, in a slightly different way.

Instead of putting daily notes in their kids’ lunch box (although my dad did this for me once. I still have the note, buried somewhere in a box, in the dark recesses of my attic), a dad might prefer to send a text, warning about the inclement weather soon approaching. Rather than show up to every classroom party, a dad might prefer to volunteer as their kid’s little league coach (I will stick to the classroom parties, thank you). While I know a number of fathers, including my own, that are not above wiping tears, changing diapers, or giving an emotionally charged pep talk, a dad’s version of love might be more likely to include tips on auto care, a sermon on letting one’s gas tank sink too low, changing heating and air filters, or ‘fixing’ the un-fixable, and in record-breaking time.

Dads have a language of love all their own. They communicate with their children based on needs, protection, safety, and responsibility. Where would we be without dads? Quite frankly, nowhere, as it still takes two to…. well, you know.

I will never be a dad. I am perfectly content and ever grateful for my role as boy mom to my two amazing sons. But I have to say, those dads that fulfil their role with discipline, responsibility, and a never-ending supply of patience, are the backbone of the traditional family unit.

While they may often march to their own beat and speak a slightly different language of love, sometimes, if you pay really close attention, you will see dad’s ‘momming’ it with the best of them (meaning moms). As I so often tell my boys, ‘it is not a competition!’, there is plenty of room for each parent’s most natural roles with their children. Moms step up when dads are away and likewise, dads take the reins when moms are unable to drive the metaphorical parenting vehicle home.

As we focus on our fathers this month, I am ever so grateful for my own dad. He does not talk much, but when he does, you can bet what he has to say is extremely important. He leads by example. He shows up. He does helpful things without the need for glory or accolades. He is the best father to me and the best ‘Pops’ to my two sons. We would truly be lost without him. We do not tell him near enough how much we appreciate him. But surely he knows, after all, he is a DAD…..they know it all!

About Author

Amannda (Manndi) Maphies works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, is a mother to two human boys, two furry boys (dog – Atlas and cat – Hamilton), and enjoys freelance writing based on her travels, life adventures, and pretty much anything that stands out in life as ‘story-worthy’. Manndi contributes to several online and written publications, including: Ozarks Farm and Neighbor, Connections Magazine, Moms of Teens and Tweens, Her View from Home, Motherly,Motherwell, Salt + Sparrow, Daily Inspired Life with Karletta Marie, Focus on the Family, The Christian Standard, and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Believing in Angels (January 2022). She had her first book published in September 2022, Tales From My Mummy, which can be found in local bookstores (SW Missouri) and Amazon.

Manndi’s greatest passion is being a boy mom to her two sons, William (13, going on 23) and Waylan (still sweet, boyish and recently turned 11). Her sons never fail to provide daily entertainment, which inspires many of her writings. She also loves to write about everything from being a single mom and dating after divorce to finding love later in life, the devastation of miscarriage, the loss of a loved one, and dealing with anxiety and mental health issues (specifically her personal journey with OCD). Her pieces are lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor.

Live a life worthy of writing about, is her daily motto and she strives to exemplify this daily.

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