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Dads Don't Know Jack

Some mornings I wake up and think to myself, I don't know jack!

I don't know up from down. I don't know why the weather works the way it does. Outside of basic science I don't know really know how nature works or rather what caused it to work in the first place.

As far as this fatherhood gig goes, what or who has convinced me I know anything about raising children when I struggle to make sense of it all for myself daily? And who on earth gave me license to speak on it via a blog? Knowing what I know now, how in the world did my father know what he knew about raising me? Especially since he seemed to have an answer for everything.

Experience is the great teacher. Nothing less, nothing more.

From person to person there are variances. Some may have the gift of eloquence to expound on the virtues and nuances of fatherhood in a way many Dads might not be able. Some might have resources to provide in ways that others might not be able. Some might have the opportunity to write for the masses. Some dads might be willing to speak out because they like public speaking. And some might have platforms as actors, musicians, U.S. Presidents or people who have immersed themselves in social networking.

Experience, not expertise, is what makes fathers Dads. It's what gives me the right to speak on fatherhood - nothing more. The father I was three years ago is not the father I am today. It's all a winding race that each and every one of us is on. Wherever you happen to be on the track depends on any number of factors, the ages of your kids, your level of engagement with your kids, your degree of connection with the world around you and the keen understanding that this life does not revolve around you, no matter who you might be.

So Dads out there don't be dismayed you're walking or running the same race that the rest of us dads are. Don't despair if a dad you see or know happens to be better off than you. He's probably just a little further along in his race. And here's a novel thought, but one that will require you to put aside your pride. During those moments that you might have questions about this whole fatherhood thing you could ask that dad that seems to have it together or search out a group of dads who are trying to figure it out together. Or you could read a blog like mine, by a dad like me, who decided to hash out my thoughts and feelings online because way back when, when I really needed to talk to someone, no one was available.

There is power in knowledge. And knowledge is all around us. Live, love, learn.

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