In March, I attended the Dad 2.0 Summit in Austin. Met a lot of great dads, got really energized, and it's a brother conference to the conference that my wife and I are launching, the Digital Family Summit. (and if it feels like I'm ignoring Dadapalooza, you may be right, as I'm working heavily on that blog and that project right now.)
One of the great things about a conference like this is the ideas and the networking and the confluence of those two things. One of the dad's who was there, David Wescott, had an idea to use the growing community of online dads to create an online meme: #DADLOVE. The Goal: to try to get at least one father in each of the 50 US states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) to write a simple blog post that describes three things they love about being a father.
My pals over at NYCDadsGroup posted a few things that people in our community are thinking.
I'm not sure if this will count for NY or RI but here's my 6 cents (2 cents per idea!)
• INTERACTION. I have to say that for me, the absolute best thing about being a dad is the interaction with my son. He's 3.5 now, and really starting to explore the world, and tell jokes, and try to figure out how to get lava out of volcanoes and why they built the pyramids and what if a dog were a horse-- He consistently reminds me that life is an adventure and a mystery and really really fun. (he also consistently reminds me that children are stubborn and willful and not good at compromise or listening to reason... but that's a different comment! :O)
•COMMUNITY As a primarily stay at home dad, it's great to have a community of guys going through the same ideas and problems and travails as me. Yes, I have that with some moms also, (esp. now that my son is in school) but it's not quite the same thing. I've met a lot of great guys, and have been able to really talk about the things that are going on, in ways that isn't possible with a group of moms. The great thing about being a dad in America is you get to choose your community in ways I don't think you can elsewhere. This is due in large part to technology.
• NURTURING. There I said it. the N word. I don't think I would have believed it 10 years ago (nor would most of my ex-girlfriends) but I like to provide a protected and safe place for my son, a place for him to grow and learn and be happy. I don't think that this is typically a masculine thing, (well, the protect part is) but I like the times when my son needs my help and I am able to provide it. The best part of the day is the morning after my son wakes up, he crawls into bed with us and we have family cuddle time. It is a great way to start your day!