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Open Mike

Finally, a day all our own

Men, or more specifically fathers, here we are finally facing a weekend where a day is specifically set aside for us. That day is Father's Day.

Father's Day, the one day designed to recognize us hard working men folk who put forth just as much effort as the opposite sex in the wonderful world of parenthood. Sure, we don't actually deliver the kids or carry a child during nine months of pregnancy, but our role is just as important. We are the manly providers, the implementer of punishment, the solver of all problems-when mom lets us-and the last say with all decisions. I know, women, I am dreaming, but at least you ladies are kind enough to allow us men to believe we have some kind of final say.

But what is Father's Day? And why isn't Father's Day recognized during the school year. Why don't fathers get the same commercialization as Mother's Day? Why aren't we ever praised for the good we do? Instead, all we here about are the stories of the deadbeat dads who think you can be a father while sitting on a barstool.

There was this great article in Monday's edition of the USA Today written by Kathleen Fackelmann, which highlighted some of the usefulness men have on this earth as a father. My favorite part of the article is the beginning, which states "Dads do make a difference in a child's life." The article details the different parenting styles most fathers utilize, which is to allow children to fail, encourage them to do their best while being there as a fallback if needed. The article highlights how the fathers parenting stance helps develop a "can-do-attitude" in children. The article also states how fathers utilize parenting skills that help develop children for the real world.

It is very true. Every word of it. Fellow fathers, the world is a better place because of the good dads that we are.

But what makes a good father? I don't know. You can't really describe what makes a good father. The only way I can say it is, you know you are doing a good job when it feels right what you are doing. That is about the best way I can sum it up in a small space such as this.

And what will we get in return for all of our fatherly, nurturing efforts-a tie? We will probably get a small, relatively useless gift, but fellow dads who take an interest in their child's life know as well as I do the best gift we will receive is a hug, a Happy Father's Day and your child saying they love you.

From my standpoint as a father, I have given up a lot to dedicate time to my children. But, I wouldn't change anything. I love my two sons, Tyler and Ethan, and my new one on the way. I don't look at being a parent as things that I have lost out on doing, but rather I view it as making an investment in two young men (for now) who will make me and their mom proud in the future.

There are many great fathers in this community and every one of them should be proud of the efforts they put in with their children.

Wendy and I are about three months away from having our third child. And I think about starting all over again, going through toilet training, learning to walk, finding daycare, being sick and all that other good stuff. And you know what, I can't wait because it is those experiences that in part make life what it is-enjoyable.

As a father I have one goal and that is on the day that all three of my sons graduate from high school they stand on the podium-because they will all be class valedictorians-and tell me and their mom thank you for everything we have done. If my boys do that, then I will know I have done my job as father.

So this Sunday, men, enjoy your day. Celebrate the fact that you are a father and no matter what, no one can take that away from you. It is your day.

Happy Father's Day!

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at mkantman@eaglenewspapers.com

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