I greatly admire the men who love children, their children, or the children they've chosen to care for, mentor, spend time with, look out for. They have time, and skills, compassion, interests, and ideas, and when they lend those gifts and qualities to the young people in their lives, they can make a world of difference... a good difference. I have been fortunate to know such men, to be in their circle of care, to be loved... its significance carries a profound awe for me.
And one of the very best blessings of my life has been sharing parenting with Geoff, watching him be a father, a mentor, a friend, a loving and caring man. There are a lot of things I can say about "ideal fathers," but there are some essential things that are significantly meaningful to me about a good father... he sticks around, he keeps trying, he can put his children's needs ahead of his own and often does, he stays engaged, and wants to be with his children. Sometimes this can even happen from afar, and you know where you can turn when you need support, guidance. Mistakes happen, poor choices are made, hard choices, too, but when you see a man stick around, want to make amends, dedicated to getting it right, and really caring about who you are, where you want to go, and loving you... that's good fathering.
I am only scratching the surface, of something deeply personal. But I don't want it left unsaid: Geoff, I love watching you be a father. And I love that through this experience I have been able to see, recognize, and appreciate all the men I know, have known, who have shared time, skills, compassion, interests and ideas with children, with me. You all are making a very good difference.