Any guy can be a sperm donor, but it takes a real man to be a father.
When my sister found out she was pregnant, she told the “guy” all about it, and he decided he didn’t want to be a father. The job description wasn’t one he believed he could fill, so he cut bait and took off. Is that any different from my father-in-law who decided he was good with the job until I came along and he wanted nothing to do with me so he cut his daughter off as well? Or how about my own dad, who disappears for long stretches of time only to reach out in a half-assed sort of effort that falls way short? Are any of these approaches better than any others? Or are they all just more evidence that being a father is more than simply biology?
I look at my own children and I wonder what they think of me, what they will think of me in 10 or 20 years time, what they will write about me in their own blogs. I wonder if all the time I spend with them will be remembered, if they will have appreciated my efforts to be the kind of father I just have never really seen before, not from personal experience anyway. I make it up as I go because I don’t have that blueprint, but it’s not that hard really. Spend time with them. Give them love and affection, even if sometimes it’s tough love. Be there for them.
It’s not hard, so why are so many guys content just to be sperm donors, to give nothing to their progeny except sometimes last names that honestly don’t mean shit? Why should a child take your last name if you’re not involved in the rearing of that child, when they wake up crying every night because you’re not there, because they don’t know you? I love that my sister gave my nephew her last name, because she’s the one who raised him, who was both mother and father to him and continues to be even though he’s in college now.
Because your kids never stop needing you. Both of you.