A father is a person who is forced to endure childbirth without
an anesthetic. He growls when he feels good and laughs very loud
when he is scared half-to-death.
A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's
eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. Never quite
the man his son believes him to be. And this worries him sometimes.
(So he works too hard to try to smooth the rough places in the road
of those of his own who will follow him.)
A father is a person who goes to war sometimes ... and would run
the other way except that war is part of his only important job
in his life, (which is making the world better for his child than
it has been for him).
Fathers grow older faster than people, because they, in other wars,
have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform
that climbs on board.
And, while mothers cry where it shows, fathers stand and beam --
outside -- and die inside.
Fathers are men who give daughters away to other men, who aren't
nearly good enough, so that they can have children that are smarter
Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast
table, off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a
workshop. There, with callused hands, they tackle the dragon with
three heads; Weariness, Works, and Monotony. And they never quite
win the fight, but they never give up.
Knights in shining armor; fathers in shiny trousers. There's little
difference as they march away each workday.
I don't know where a father goes when he dies, but I've an idea
that, after a good rest, wherever it is, he won't just sit on a
cloud and wait for the girl he's loved and the children she bore.
He'll be busy there too -- repairing the stars, oiling the gates,
improving the streets, smoothing the way.