This week we’re recognizing DOC dads in honor of Father’s Day. Today, we’re featuring Bennet Dunlap, father of four (ages 13, 17, 18 and 20) – the youngest two have type 1 diabetes. Bennet, also known as @BadShoe, has several blogs devoted to a variety of diabetes topics including parenting, teens, and even vacationing at Disney with diabetes. He is a great resource and is regularly recognized as someone who is full of humor, honesty and knowledge. After having had the chance to meet Bennet a couple of months ago, I asked him to discuss his favorite thing about being a dad.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about being a father?
The best thing about being a father is being a dad and there is no best part of being dad. It is a wonderful ongoing and changing relationship evidenced by successes and occasional struggles. The hallmark of being dad is trying to make the next thing better. What is happening now is almost always better than what came before. What is coming next will be even better yet.
I have come to genuinely love teenagers. They are optimistic with flashes of rational thinking and a delightful sense of justice. Great fun in their own right, they also provide glimpses of the young adult soon to be.
The Dunlap Family
As the kids grew, no game, book, sports season, movie, vacation, or even struggle was the best. I saw each as an opportunity to be the next best. I tried to create a shared hopeful confidence that the best is coming. If we miss one, it isn’t the end of the world, because the next is another opportunity for the best ever.
I mentioned struggles as part of the best of being dad. They are. How I responded to them influenced what the kids learned when things went wrong, like a type 1 diagnosis, or two. What I needed to do most was to be there emotionally supporting the family.
My advice to dads? Make your family your priority. Play in a theme park with them on a family vacation, not away from them on a golf course. Make the bookstore and library destinations. Read crazy fun stories out loud regularly. Go to the midnight premieres of books and movies. Doing these kinds of things regularly creates expectations. Fulfilling those expectations makes optimism normal.
Along the way our kids’ individual interests will surface. Nurturing the growth of their dreams and passions is the goal of being a dad.
And being a dad is the best.
A huge thank you to Bennet for participating in our Father’s Day Tribute series. Raising four children and doing everything you do for the diabetes community is commendable. You are not only a great dad, but an inspiration to others. Thank you!
Happy Father’s Day!
All the best,
Disclosure: This blogger received no compensation for this post. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the blogger, and not of sanofi-aventis U.S., its employees, agencies or affiliates.