Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hot Daddy Nation

I’ve never liked Tom Cruise, but I have to admit that whenever I see a picture of him carrying Suri through a sea of paparazzi, I suddenly find him a whole lot more attractive. Ditto Brad Pitt and his 17 children.

There’s just something sexy about good-looking dads taking an active role in the parenting process. It’s sad to say that seeing this is such a rarity in the States. The status quo of paternity seems to follow the “back seat” approach with occasional final decision rights usually related to discipline.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Denmark – a dream come true for hands-on dads. I guess it helps when a government starts treating dads like moms in terms of parental rights (i.e. – paternal leave, flexible work schedules, etc.) After all, I’m sure there are many dads in America who would jump at the opportunity to spend more time at home with their kids, but find themselves working for American companies still sold on the idea of macho domination, that man equals breadwinner and not caretaker.

During my time here in Denmark, I am not exaggerating when I say that I see just as many fathers pushing around strollers in the middle of the workday as I do mothers. Right in the middle of the 9 to 5 daily grind, it’s perfectly common to see a father playing with his daughter in the park or changing his son’s diaper on a park bench without an ounce of shame or embarrassment. It’s just… normal. And I love it.

Being a dad here also seems to be equal opportunity. There are young dads, old dads, gay dads, straight dads, hipster dads, preppy dads, working dads and stay-at-home dads. I just can’t get over it – really, I just envy the social attitude knowing that one day I want to be a dad who gets respect for actually parenting.

Is it strange that responsibility seems to be a huge turn on for me? A guy can be relatively good looking to me, but the minute you throw a baby in his arms with a matching hat, I'm 75% guaranteed to melt on the spot. I really have trouble thinking of anything cuter, so if that's strange then I don't want to know anything else.

Life is good.

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