06/19/2005 02:48 am ET Updated May 25, 2011


Three-legged Table

For most of the check-ups in my office I see a baby or child with both the mom and dad. I strongly encourage both parents to come.

Sometimes dads need to leave early, go to the car to feed the meter or duck out to take a cell phone call. When this happens, I watch the babies’ response very closely: Almost every time, they either cry or get upset.

I also hear from moms about the way a baby’s or child’s behavior changes when Dad goes on a business trip or when he has to work particularly long hours for a period of time. The kids change. They get needier and often get sad. Sometimes, I’m the only one the mom talk to ‘cuz she doesn’t want Dad to feel guiltier than he already feels.

Dads! You need to understand that you are a crucial part of this three-legged table we call a family. When you’re not “in the game” the game doesn’t go as planned.

My own father died twenty-six years ago at age 59. He was victim of the smoking, grease-eating post war era. When he died, I found a scrap of paper in his sock drawer with a hastily typewritten note. I’m not sure where the quote came from (the Bible, maybe) but I know I was meant to find it. I thought I’d share it with you today.


"Not every father is able to leave his son a big estate made up of lands, mortgages and bonds, but any father can bequeath to his children an estate worth infinitely more. He can leave an honorable name, a good reputation, the memory of a Godly life and a record of fair dealing. He can teach his son (or daughter) to have a profound respect for fact, deep reverence for character, a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to work.

If any youth has all this, he will not need any money that may be willed to him; If he does not have this, no money left him will do him much good.”

Every day of my life, I miss you, Dad. You did your job. I’ve tried to follow in your footsteps as I raised my daughter. Happy Father’s Day guys.