I just finished watching “The Other F Word,” a fabulous documentary about punk rockers who are now fathers. It’s an amazing example of how there’s a good person inside us all.
Punks get a bad wrap for not giving a shit. And, generally, that was pretty much true. I grew up in the 90s southern California punk scene listening to Pennywise, Lagwagon, NoFX and othe bands that make the circle pit blow up. But seeing guys like Fat Mike from NoFX talking about how to instill the values of respectful individuality was an eye-opening experience for me.
Like a lot of those guys, I come from a challenging family dynamic and one of the things that intimidated me the most about having a kid was not what kind of father I was going to be, it how I could help Kylah be the best person she can be..
Watching this movie made me realize that just being present and genuinely caring is all that matters. She wants to be a cowboy? Buy a horse. Want to be a ballerina? Daddy’ll be en pointe right with you. Being a parent is not what you tell your kids to do.
Being a parent is helping your kids be what they want to be and do what they want to do. And sometimes all you can do is wait for the toast to be done so you can bring it to her in bed (watch the movie, it’ll make sense).
Helping them achieve victories large and small is all that matters. The look on Kylah’s face when she does something like jump with both feet finally getting off the gro und is all I need to keep by her side as she finds herself and becomes her own individual.
In the epic words of Pennywise:
I say fuck authority
Raised by the system
Now it’s time to rise against them
Being a punk rock dad, with tattoos and a fun-loving attitude is going to suit me just fine. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that there’s no mold for her. She can go out and do what she feels is right.
So long as I agree