During the time that the phrase ”real men don’t eat quiche” was heard everywhere, Roseanne Barr called out through the television screen with this line: ”A real man is one who can look a thirty-year mortgage in the eye, and not blink.”
In many ways, signing up for a thirty-year mortgage requires more commitment to a relationship than signing a marriage license, or signing up for fatherhood. Weddings, diapers and monthly payments may not look as exciting as a single buddy’s new high-performance sports car or season tickets to the game. A real man gazes fearlessly into the abyss, and commits.
A real man is involved and emotionally present in the lives of his children. A real man validates his relationships by giving his strength to protect and cherish his family. A real man comforts others in times of distress.
A real man realizes what battles he is fighting. He knows he has an adventure to live. He recognizes he has something beautiful to rescue and protect. His family shares this undertaking with him. Living, loving and sharing this journey affirm a real man’s masculinity.
A real man knows that his wife is a partner, and not the adventure. When a man makes the mistake of thinking that a person is the adventure, his marriage, his family and his own life are placed at risk. A man knows his family is worth fighting for, and his wife is a partner on a daring campaign.
Theodore Hesburgh, the former head of Notre Dame, said, ”The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
So, a man sees love as a call to action, a verb, rather than a feeling. He understands that to feel love or to be loved, one has to love. To feel good, a man must do good.
Here’s to the men that have looked at the world and its responsibilities with courage, and held steadfast.
In the end these men know that they have won the battle worth fighting, have had the adventure worth living and have rescued and protected the beauty of their lives.
To these men, we can only say one thing with the utmost love and respect:
Thank you, Dad.