Six years ago, I wrote a piece on the four reasons I love being a dad. A lot has changed in the past six years; a new job, two relocations, a master’s degree, starting a PhD, and on top of that, adding two more children to the Zimmerer clan! Looking back caused me to consider whether my feelings had changed or transformed in some way. In that piece I mention the beauty of living in an imaginary world of innocence that little children provide their parents, the sense of nobility that being someone dependable brought me, the paradoxical freedom of living for others, and the challenging ways that kids help their fathers discover their own ability to lead.

After six years, I would proudly say that those reasons still hold true; they’ve just deepened since the day I wrote them. The culture still seems to view fatherhood as some kind of “ball and chain” that needs to be delayed or eschewed altogether. But having the heart of a dad is something that no worldly pleasure or selfishness could ever give you—a heart filled with honor, love, struggle, and purpose. Now that I have two more children, I have even more beings to give of my time and money to. Now that I have kids who are just about to be teenagers, the challenge of leadership, patience, and self-growth children bring has expanded and provided new (and often strange) avenues of growth. The opportunities to teach the faith and provide a Christian worldview have only become more profound as my kids now ask substantially harder questions than they did while in diapers.

My wife and I went from changing diapers, Little Einsteins, and just trying to keep the chaos down enough to say one or two decades of the rosary, to adding jiu-jitsu, pianos, .22 rifle shooting, Mortal Kombat, make-up, and teaching them how to be respectful to the opposite sex. Family rosaries are still pretty chaotic, and it is hard to believe what six years can do in a parent’s life. So here are four more reasons why, after six years of joy, hardship, and a lot grayer hair, I still wouldn’t trade being a father for anything in the world.

Praise the Lord

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