In the US, tomorrow is Father's Day. A day to celebrate the men who are fathers. And a father is not necessarily the man who can physically create a child but the one who can take on the role of a father and be the role model and the guide for his children. To be a father, much like being a mother, is not a mantle that can be taken off at times where it may be inconvenient or to take on only when it suits him. It is a role that, once assumed, will last for the rest of his life. It does not demand perfection, it requires perseverance. It does not require money or a certain physique, it needs time, patience and understanding. It is the most demanding effort that will ever be required of a man and the most rewarding - often at the same time. The more that is put into being a father, the more that will be reaped - though not always in the most obvious ways.
A good father is not just the one who carries pictures of his children everywhere to show to others. A good father is not just the one who plays games with his children when he gets off of work. A good father is not just the one who is rubbing his children's foreheads when they're ill. A good father is the one who knows that he is the one who is setting an example for what he wants his children to do and to be when they grow up. A good father knows that there is never a timeout in setting an example, only when he must apply one for bad behavior by his children. A good father can be a friend to his children but it does not prevent him from having to impose discipline when needed. A good father knows that he must be all things good at all times and any mistakes and failures must be addressed as quickly as possible.
Given these criteria, a good father is hard to find. But aspiring to be a good father is perhaps the most important thing of all. And fathers everywhere reap the rewards today of their efforts to be good fathers.