For those of you good dads who read here, thank you. You keep me rooted in my knowledge that there are all kinds of good, responsible people. You give me hope that children will find love from grown-ups, and will therefore learn to love well.
I've never been jealous of those who had good fathers. Seeing a patient dad with a child in public makes me smile. I'm a little sad for myself, but this is luck of the draw. But I never forget that good parents are a matter of fortune for a child, there is nothing magical about having children for parents. Decent fathers deserve credit for their skill and effort and heart. Just as decent mothers deserve praise for their love and endurance and attention. It's an insult to say it all comes automatically, since it clearly doesn't. Look at the number of abused children to demonstrate that it is not a given.
So, thank you. From one whose parents did a poor job in many ways that most mattered to me. Stay interested, keep them as friends when the temporary insanity of early parenthood wears off, let them see you as you are, and see your adult offspring as they are. I've seen it work in other families, so I do know it's possible.
Just, not mine.