The best kind of dad is one who will do anything for his kid. Sometimes “anything” means turning up to every single one of her soccer games, or sitting down to daily tea with her stuffed animal posse. Sometimes it means dressing up as Princess Peach to her Mario, and responding to ridiculous critics who think it’s not manly enough.
In early October, Reddit user @thejohnblog accompanied his daughter to a local comic-con dressed as Princess Peach. The internet’s lowest common denominator decided to have its nasty say, and he responded with an open letter.
He started by talking about kids’ simple expectations of their parents. “When you become a parent, it does not take much work to make your child happy … if they want to be silly and express themselves, and want to include you … you can cling to your masculinity and say ‘No sweetie, I won’t play dollies with you, maybe mom will do that’ … or you can do the little work.”
He goes on to talk about his divorce and how his daughter was affected. In the break up, he’s been conscious of his duty as a father. “I need to assure her that the changes and stress of the world do not consume her. I need to remind her that there is fun to be had in our activities together and that any creative projects or ideas she has, has the same importance as anything I have planned.”
They definitely have fun. “We sing out loud in the grocery store. We dance in lines we wait in surrounded by people who say things to their children like ‘Be quiet’ … Sometimes that means I get to wear the princess outfit. Even if it means snickering from my co-workers, nasty comments about insecure men …”
Growing up a shy and introverted kid, he’s protective of her creative spirit. “I fight a lot to make sure she never suppresses her silliness because ‘People are staring’.”
His closing paragraph beautifully sums up what it is to be a parent – although it’s hard work, bringing up kids is full of simple joys. “My job as a parent is hard. It’s the hardest one I have ever had. But making your kids happy is not hard. I’ll put on a dress … If anyone wants to call me a sissy or worse, then I’ll blow you a kiss in my pretty dress, and keep YOUR poor kids in my thoughts.”