Jewish World ReviewJune 18, 2004 / 29 Sivan, 5764

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Wanted: Fathers | WANTED: Fathers. Calling men with sporadic bad hearing (you don't want to hear everything that goes on in this job), one blind eye (if you saw it all, you'd never sleep at night) and pliable hearts. Driver's license and working vehicle a must. One major credit card, ATM access and sense of humor strongly recommended.

SKILLS REQUIRED: No previous experience necessary. All training provided on-the-job. Background in budgeting, law enforcement and wild game management considered a plus, but not required. No degrees or certification necessary. (You make 'em, you raise 'em.)

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Must endure irregular sleep patterns and still be able to rise from bed, shower, shave, and trudge off to work the next morning. Must be able to withstand distractions during final minutes of Sunday afternoon ball games, small children lifting eyelids when you are sound asleep, and paycheck vaporizing before your eyes.

Must enjoy small chubby hands holding yours, cramming little fat feet into miniature tennis shoes and answering endless questions about thunder, fire engines and what makes lightning bugs glow. Must be able to carry small children on shoulders through shopping malls, know how to make frozen waffles and retrieve Frisbees from the roof.

Must also be able to make children feel safe and secure. (Not as hard as it sounds, 90 percent of it is being there.) Must monitor education, occasionally call kids bluff and stay two steps ahead of someone half your size.

Must be able how to say "no," "I don't think so," and "when pigs fly." Must also be able to say, "sure!" "great idea," and "let's do that Saturday."

Must develop nerves of steel and sharp reflexes as kids learn to ride bikes without training wheels and parallel park family car.

Must role model what it means to be a man. Must resist being shoved into background during teen years. Seize opportunities to teach sons how to treat young ladies and scare the daylights out of the boys dating your daughters. (NRA membership strongly suggested.)

Must puff chest like penguin when kids cross major thresholds of life including turning 16, high school graduation, college, tech school, military service, employment and ability to pay own insurance premiums. Also responsible for standing by grown daughter wearing white wedding gown. Must listen for prompt, swallow hard and croak, "Her mother and I do."

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PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Able to move faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Must also possess thick skin, neck that can bow in prayer and heart capable of giving and receiving love. Also need knees that do not buckle in labor and delivery or hospital emergency rooms.

BENEFITS: Benefits include, but are not limited to, colorful ties, power tools, outdoor grill accessories, car wax kits and golf memorabilia.

Benefits also include intangibles such as pride, devotion, delight and quiet satisfaction of knowing you helped shape and mold another human being. Long-term benefits include understanding that by providing food, shelter, guidance, boundaries and love, you met your responsibilities and were faithful to a commitment. Other benefits may include wrinkles, gray hair and wry smile that comes from seeing child mature into adult, start own family and develop deeper sense of appreciation for what you did as a dad.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: The ability to stop time and savor the moments in which you are privileged to open a card, look into another's eyes, or pick up the phone and hear, "Happy Father's Day."

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.


© 2004, Lori Borgman