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Dad Challenging Dads

by Archie Wortham    --show me more like this




"When people are feeling insecure, they'd rather have someone who is strong and wrong rather than somebody who is weak and right."

Greetings. My name is Archie Wortham. Welcome to Men 2 Fathers. Over the weeks, we're going to get to know each other. I'll talk about what's going on in the world of men. That's why this column is called Men 2 Fathers. I'm a father of two boys. Parenting them is a struggle. It's as much a struggle for them as it is for me [with their mom] to try and parent them.

I'm a baby-boomer. I married late [32] the one girl who finally stopped me in my track. I'm one of those die-hard romantic that fell in love on the spot. For the last 20 years, with the help of our sons, particular our 12-year-old [Jeremy], she's been helping me see the errors of my ways.

Over the weeks you will hear more about me, than you probably want to hear as I talk about what I've learned about being a father, the pitfalls of being a father, and most importantly, the pitfalls of being a man who's finally "getting" it. You'll hear from a dad, who unlike our former president comments to a Democratic Leadership Council meeting at New York University, prefers our sons listen to someone who tries to be strong and right, though society might see me as weak and right.

Fathers have a difficult task. Everyday we fight deficit-modeling images of being absent, silent, macho, and if you would listen to Clinton, grab at a gravitas of strength, without care of our ethics. Growing up in a surrounding where men and boys are harangued, it's an almost impossible dream to make sure our boys are respected in a society that blames their dads for them being the way they are. Can we change this? Yes. How? One day at a time, and one dad at a time.

As I've mentioned before, I have few answers. You will hear how stupid I can be. You will witness how weak I can be, despite my desire to be smart and strong. Above all, what I hope you will hear is that I love my sons' mother and I love my sons. You will learn I have a spiritual connection to them, and other men that hopefully will enable me to connect with you and them in some way as I try to do the right things.

I will anger some of you. I will extol some of you. Some of you will see yourselves, and think that I'm peering into your homes. You will wonder why I'm picking on you. To this I say! Good. If you get angry, that means you care. If you're doing some of the things I recommend that my wife, my kids, or other fathers recommend or have done? Good! And for those of you who think I'm peering into your windows, or wiretapping your phones, remember, you're just getting a view of what life is like at our home. And for those who feel you are being picked on, grow up. Realize, you are just someone who is strong and wrong, and wants to be weak and right.

Understand I learn by listening...20 years I've learned to take this in stride. I want to hear from you so feel free to e-mail me via the paper. I want to be your friend. Dads need friends. It takes a strong man to admit that sometimes, only a man knows the pain that might make another man cry because he's hurt.

I'll continue to share my pain so that it might lessen yours, and continue to help men to father a way no one taught us, as Drew Bledsoe says in his book "It is better to light one candle than to sit and curse the darkness!" Remember, one dad and one day at a time!



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