Misc Thoughts

Still a Father, But Not a “Daddy” Any More

When recently watching a father play with his small child, it occurred to me that while I’ll always be a father and hope to remain a “dad,” I’m not a “daddy” any more and I kinda miss that. My kids will turn 20 and 18 this year. They’re adults. They rely on me still, of course, but don’t really need me. No more seeking protection by my side; arms thrown skyward indicating a need to be picked up or climbing into bed between my wife and me during a thunderstorm. Their love remains unconditional, but it’s much less overt and obvious than it used to be. They have real, established lives that don’t involve me and, in some sense are more important than the decreasing portion of their lives they share with their father.

Nothing too sad, here. This is how happy and successful lives as parents work. I’m really, really lucky. My kids have grown in to terrific people and I have a blast spending time with them. I love them and I’m tremendously proud of both of them. My relationship with them is different now, but in its own way, it’s just as rewarding as it was at any time of our lives together. I’m going to work at remaining “dad” to them and relish every minute of it. Someday – hopefully a while from now – the need I have to be “daddy” will be fulfilled when I become a grandparent (yikes!).

For all of you that are still “daddies,” have a blast on Daddy’s Day today. Personally, I’m going to enjoy my Dad’s Day.


  1. Will:

    The last time I commented was back in Sept of last year when you dropped your son off at college…I am clearly drawn to these views of fatherhood and what lays ahead of me with my own children. It's funny how you notice slight changes in your children's need for you; for me right now it is walking into the school yard alone, dad can remain at the side walk. I am still the “daddy”, however the signs of becoming “dad” are ever more present in small ways as the months go past. Obviously, this is part of life and a good thing…just one that sneaks up on you ever so quietly and quickly.

    These days, I am working hard on living in the moment, enjoying and taking it all in.

    Keep sharing your thoughts on being “dad” they are very much appreciated.


  2. Peter,

    Thanks so much.

    It sounds like you're way ahead of where I ever was. I'm afraid that while I
    cognitively understood that my kids were progressively moving on, I didn't
    understand it emotionally. Since you get this already, you've won the
    biggest part of the battle – being able to look back and know that you
    squeezed everything out of fatherhood that you could.

    I'm currently helping my son shop for his first apartment. More bonding, for
    sure, but still helping move further away from the nest.

    Enjoy being “daddy” while it lasts.

  3. Will I feel the same way and my kids are only 8 and 10. What am I going to do when they are your kids age? 😉 My 10 year old is up in Maine at camp and his Mom and I are a bit freaked out. Counting the days to go up and get him! I hope you enjoyed your Fathers Day and July 4th. Just catching up on blogs.

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