Father Figures: Undue Pain

(Amy Hunter, The Outnumbered Mother)

“My father died suddenly and without warning five months ago. My dad was the least judgmental person I’ve ever met in my entire life. Upon meeting someone, he brought no preconceived notions, no baggage of class, or race, or status. He opened his heart, his mind, and usually his table to any and everyone he came in contact with. My father did not do side-eye. He didn’t throw shade. He did not judge. My dad was a healer. He was a peacemaker. He was the person you could go to when you needed informed perspective. In my 40 years on this Earth, he never led me wrong.

As I was trying to pinpoint all the things about him that made him unique, I recalled all the well wishes and outpouring of love coming through the phone, the internet, the snail mail, and everyone else who mourned him. That’s when it occurred to me that this circle of love was more diverse than an 80s video attempting to end world hunger. Dad loved and was loved by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. And I’ve never been more proud to be his daughter.

I miss you, Dad. It’s like a heartbeat. That sentence echoes in my brain every morning as I brush my teeth. (I miss you, Dad. Those words are a silent refrain as I watch your grandchildren climb walls, (I miss you, Dad) when those same grandchildren drive Rob and me crazy (I miss you, Dad), and then they ride bikes, (I miss you, Dad) when they make new friends (I miss you, Dad). It rings in my ears as I go about my day. (I miss you, Dad) When I find deals at the store, you would’ve called me about, ‘Wow, this is 25% off,’ (I miss you, Dad.) When I hear something hilarious, and I know you would’ve loved that joke too, (I miss you, Dad.) When I realize Robbie will become a Bar Mitzvah this year and you won’t be on the Bema. (I miss you, Dad.)

I really miss you, Dad.

As a human being, I’ve tried to avoid pain at all costs. I don’t think that makes me unusual or distinctive. I think that makes me pretty basic. Who wants to hurt? No one. As a parent, I’ve tried my best to shield my children from undue pain because I’m a control freak, and helplessness is just as painful.

12 years ago, when I was in labor with my oldest son, I got my epidural as early as possible, because pain. At one point, my parents were sitting with Rob and me at my bedside, and I started to feel incredible, unimaginable pain. It seems my carefully placed epidural by the intern had fallen out. Rob and I didn’t know how to handle it, this was not in my birth plan, and my father and mother started reminiscing above me as I was losing my ever loving mind, about the night that I was born. My mom, whom I’ve decided is a Viking, Amazon, ninja, Jedi warrior, in her own right went Lamaze all the way (of course she did), and my Daddy said, ‘Remember when you were hurting, and we sang together, remember what we sang?’ It was that exact moment that the contraction to end all contractions hit me head on and my parents chose that exact moment to relive the glory days of my birth with songs from a Chorus line. ‘Kiss today goodbye, the sweetness and the sorrow, wish me luck the same, to you, and I won’t forget, what I did for love, what I did for love.’ Breaking into song was something my father did a lot.

I learned a great lesson that rainy night in May. Firstly, I learned my parents were certifiably mentally ill, but I’d already known that in the perimeter. The real lesson I learned is that pain is inevitable. Pain is part of the human experience. You. Cannot. Stop. Pain. But what you can control is how you choose to handle it. So, tonight, and every night, I will feel the pain of the loss of my father, Robert Block, but I will remember the joy he brought to the world, and I will rejoice that we all were able to be a part of it.”

Amy Hunter, The Outnumbered Mother

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com.

Tweet Roundup: 10 Funny Tweets About Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid


Day going too well? Leather interior of your car looking too pristine? Why not round up the kids and give them a nice coating of sunscreen? Here are 10 hilarious tweets from parents who we assume are counting down the days until fall.

First, a fair warning.

First tip, get a head start the night before.

There are ways around having to do it…

…but remember, you signed up for this.

Your kids aren’t gonna like it…

…even if you let them do it themselves.

Just be sure to rub it in.

Sure, they’ll return the favor…

…but in their own brutal way.

But if all of this seems overwhelming, remember, there is one way out:

20 Heartwarming Photos Of Dads Seeing Their Daughters In Wedding Dresses For First Time

(kristin brown photography)

Get your tissues ready.

Whether she’s a toddler or a fully independent adult, a daughter is always a father’s little girl.

So when seeing her in a white gown on arguably the biggest day of her life, things are bound to get emotional.  Here are 20 of our favorite photos featuring dads who couldn’t help getting a little emotional upon seeing their daughters on their wedding day.

Father Figures: Emotional Rescue

“I’m not an emotional person.

I’m never overly excited, don’t yell at the TV watching football, none of that. But when it comes to my son, I’m an emotional trainwreck.

I’ve always battled anxiety and never confronted it. After my son was born, I had no choice. My anxiety is death and health-based, and my biggest fear was always dying. Well, now my biggest fear is not being there for my son if I do.

It got to the point where I actually sat him down and said “Hey bug, when i’m gone you need to take care of mom…” He was 3 at the time. I would lay at night and cry, never talking about it. After that day, I knew I needed help!

All parents’ greatest fear is not being there for their children. My father was a huge alcoholic, so I never had a role model; I just knew I wanted to be nothing like him. After I opened up to my wife and family, I got help and life has been so much better with ‘Bug’ since.

We quit smoking – FOR HIM, we go on Disney cruises – FOR HIM, we live – FOR HIM. He is my best friend, my greatest accomplishment, and my biggest challenge.

As men, we’re taught not to confront our issues, but as a man, stand up for your family by confronting your demons and becoming a better person, husband, and most importantly, father. It’s the greatest gift in the world!”

– Adam Giere

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Parents Surprised When 6-Year-Old Creates Lucrative Business After A Simple Lesson About Money

(Bored Panda)

When 6-year-old Emmett told his parents he wanted a bike, they viewed it as an opportunity to teach their son about financial responsibility and earning something himself.

(Bored Panda)

“He got some old toys and stuffed animals together and put them out for sale,” Emmett’s father, Jered, recalls. “He ended up making $70 that day. He made enough to get his bike. The next day, we happened to be walking around Sam’s Club and saw this snow cone machine. He asked if we could get that instead of the bike so he could start his own business and make more money.”

(Bored Panda)

Emmett’s parents agreed to loan him the extra cash needed to buy the machine on one condition: He had to sell snow cones every Saturday for at least one hour. So, with one bag of ice and three flavors, Emmett’s Snow Cones was established.

(Bored Panda)

“His first time out he made $12, then $17, then $25 and he’s been hovering around there ever since,” Jered states. “He’s responsible for tracking his supplies and knowing when he needs to buy more, spending the money for all future flavor purchases, repaying us for the other half of the snow cone machine, and paying ‘taxes’.”

According to his parents, Emmett is saving most of his revenue for college; but little does he know, the “taxes” he has to pay are already going into a college fund for him.

(Bored Panda)

Emmett has since graduated from three to twenty-one flavors and even gets invited to local events around town to sell his delicious wares.

(Bored Panda)

“We would like our son to follow his passions in the future,” Jered says. “Our only expectation for him is to grow up to be a good person who contributes to society”

(Bored Panda)


Father Figures: The Little Things

“Our daughter was born at 34 weeks and spent 29 days in the NICU.

Those 29 days were the most emotionally draining days I have ever experienced. Every day was filled with good news, bad news, hope, despair. I cannot describe the emotions I experienced when we got the call that our daughter was ready to go home.

Fast forward to today. Our daughter is almost 7 months old and is the happiest baby in the world. She is such a bright light in this dark world and my wife and I love her to death.

I know I would have probably felt the same way had she come straight home from the hospital, but those 29 days of visiting her and holding her when she was connected to monitors and tubes taught me to appreciate the little things.

The little things are the best things. Every laugh, every smile, every bottle, every time she looks at me, every milestone she reaches; it is all so wonderful and is greater than anything I could accomplish professionally.

In today’s world, you are considered a good dad if you are simply present. I understand it is difficult to do more for some people, but if all you are doing is simply being present, you are missing out.”

– Trey Scott

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Mom Asks Daughter If She Can “Keep A Secret” From Her Father And Things Escalate Spectacularly

(Twitter/Himynameisnoor & Getty/ljubaphoto)

When your mother calls asking for your help in devising a plan behind your father’s back, you’re bound to be a little bit curious.

So when Twitter user Noor received that very call, she followed the rabbit hole until it was too late to turn back, which resulted in one of the most amazing live-tweeted family adventures the internet had ever witnessed.