If you ever feel badly about your role as a dad, if you’ve ever had one of those days when you think, “Jesus, I’m doing everything wrong,” then take a moment and reflect: At least you’re not Joseph Stalin.
“In his thirties, Stalin helped lead the Red Army to victory in the Russian Revolution, and during WWII, he was instrumental in bringing the Nazis to their knees. But family life skills? Not so much. His second wife committed suicide, or was possibly murdered by Stalin himself after a quarrel. And their son died of alcoholism, or maybe something more nefarious. The details are hazy, but it’s pretty clear that Stalin was a sucky father, and maybe an even worse husband”
Talk about perspective ….
But, of course, you could take any run-of-the-mill historical dictator/mass murder and come out on top when it comes to comparing fatherhood roles (I hope …), but what I like so much about Hinds’ essay isn’t just the tongue-in-cheek comparison to the worst people ever but the introspective look at how he wound up so very different from his own father but happy with his role in the end:
“By the time my dad was 45, he was a full colonel, working at the Pentagon alongside the guys who would shape (alas, sometimes to disastrous effect) our country’s future foreign policy. His youngest kid was a 13-year old punk rocker who would grow up to be a middle-aged stay-at-home dad.
“Sounds a little depressing when I say it like that, right?”
But life is more than paper records, Hinds argues. Indeed. As dads, we do what we must to help our families, and Hinds nails it with this essay that tackles everything from what he does to what he may end up doing once his twins start school and he finds himself with more time.
Check out this great essay on fatherhood and comparing generational roles.
Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!