Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who unexpectedly lost the mother of his child. This blog post chronicles his experience with raising a daughter alone in the 21st century.
Being a single dad in 2018 is a strange life endeavor. I imagine telling my daughter about the world during the Cold War, before the widespread popularity of the Internet, when pay phones were plentiful and she looks at me the same way I looked at my father when he told me how he once bought a car for $500. How eloquently he would regale me with his tales of walking 20 miles to school, uphill (both ways) in the snow, or how he once fought a polar bear during his upbringing in Chicago.
That's right, it's Fathers Day this Sunday and those of us who can should pay a moment's homage to the men that raised us or, in some cases, the single moms and step dads who replaced them. For all the life advice, legal counsel, mechanical knowledge, bad jokes (you can keep the receding hairline), and patience you showed, we give you a 3-grill salute. You are appreciated, even though we probably don't remind you enough.
It's hard to be a Father in 2018, to navigate the perils of normal every day life, while throwing in all the macabre knowledge and dangers the Internet has to offer. I am finally starting to understand my dads paranoia. It's truly an accomplishment to raise four well adjusted kids, as he and my mom have done. He worked hard and sacrificed much so we could have the things they didn't have when they were growing up. I am forever grateful for their dedication to raising us the way they did.
I was instilled with a hard work ethic from a very young age, and it carries me to this very day. I was taught the value of money and, even though I cant say I always practiced it, it was one of many infinitely valuable lessons. I was taught the importance of treating people with respect, whether its a janitor or a CEO in front of you, you give people respect, even if they don't respect themselves. Most of all, I was taught that when you have children, they come before everyone else, including yourself. I use that lesson most of all and, even though her life in the first 5 years has been far from ideal, she's a happy kid so far, and a respectful one too, which in this day and age is an accomplishment in and of itself.
So this Sunday take a minute, call your dad, drop by and visit and maybe buy him a beer. I had much animosity for my father through adolescence and my twenties; we butted heads on everything, everyday. I'd do things just to make him angry and prove to him I that I was capable of defying his wishes. As I grew older I came to understand him better, why he is the way he is and, I hate to say it, but now I'm exactly like him. Once I became a father it all made sense, just like he said it would.
Dammit I hate it when he's right.
Happy Fathers Day.
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