Daddin': The Verb of Being a Dad

Inspired by the book, by Dion McInnis

Category Archives: The Basics of Daddin’

They Never Fully Grow Up

My youngest son is 22 years old and tomorrow he interviews for a promotion at his workplace.  If the interview is successful, he will become the operations manager for a multi-million-dollar sales outlet.  All the while, he maintains his school, fishing, social life and relationship.  He’s juggling the elements of a man’s life.  I am fortunate to witness the growth, just as I have in various ways for his brothers as they have grown into the men they are, and the men they will be.  But they never fully grow up…thank goodness.

Today was grocery shopping day.  As he headed out this morning, I asked him to add to the list that we keep on the refrigerator any specific items that he wanted to be sure that I purchased on my evening run to the neighborhood Kroger.  As I left the house hours later, I took the list from the white note pad without giving it any attention.  I folded it around a small stack of coupons and headed out the door.

After perusing the produce department, I paused at the meat case to scan over the list to keep me on track for the evening’s shopping.  Many of the items are hastily written, so reading the list is sometimes a study in cryptography. Tonight was no different, except for the two items in his handwriting.  Clear as day, were his items:  pizza and Cap’n Crunch Cereal.  I held the list, chuckled and shook my head.  Inside the man is still some boy, and I hope it stays that way forever.

Later, I shared the observation of the list with him, complete with the context described above.  He laughed, “I guess my tastes haven’t caught up with the rest of me,” he said with a broad smile.

There’s nothing like daddin’.


Radio Interview About Daddin’

This interview recently posted on web radio.  The topic was my Daddin’ book and the greatest “man job” out there—being a dad.  I enjoyed the interview, and hope you do, too.  I smiled when I listened to it, and I hope you do, too.


A Book “Review”

I had a book reading this morning at a local Rotary Club, sharing stories and poetry from Daddin’.  As I signed books for some of the attendees, I was pleased to sign three for one man:  one for his son, and one for each of his two sons in-law.  I said, “I hope they enjoy them.”  The man replied, “I am sure they will.  I sure enjoyed mine.”

And I smiled.

I have always hoped that by being as genuine as I can for my sons, they will turn out being better men than me as a pattern of growth for McInnis men.  Dad’s tombstone reads “He has left for us a most noble pattern,” and that is the best any of us can do for those who follow.  Now the book plays a role, I hope.

The book is honest, if nothing else, as it shares the various perspectives of sonhood and fatherhood.  My greatest hope is that it makes a difference first, and then perhaps some enjoyment, too.  Today’s “customer” tells me that perhaps I am on the right path in helping others see the joy of the greatest “job” around…being a parent…a dad.


I had the privilege of providing a book reading and presentation on my book Daddin’ to the La Porte Book Club the other day.  Having to fight back tears at times as I provided context for the poetry and stories that I read, I was constantly reminded that the best job that I have ever had is that of being a dad.  Most of the attendees did not worry about the holding back their tears.

There are rewarding times all along the way providing me stories for books, name for a boat (Memory Maker), and an ever-present sense of purpose.

As I write this, all three of the boys are doing things they love with people that matter to them.  One is working the bonfire project at Texas A&M, another is preparing sausage from the harvest of yesterday’s deer hunt, and another is fishing.  Their lives are full of passion, zeal, and reasonable expectations.  Every time I talk to them or watch them or listen to them, I feel good about their futures.  Add to that the budding life of the first grandchild and a simple truth confronts me:  being a dad is about futures.

The Edge of the Nest

The sight is familiar:  the young one stands at the edge of the nest, knowing in its heart and mind that the time to fly has arrived.  He spreads his wings and feels the air move across their surfaces, causing a natural lift.  What he wants to do—fly—is his call and comes naturally.  I see it in my 20-year old.  I’ve seen it before in his brothers, but this time it is different—he is the last from this nest.

All the signals are there; likewise, so too are the appearances of the wind moving across his wings, causing a lift that is both encouraging and scary.  He continues to grow as a young man:  a fisherman, student, employee, friend, son, brother and more.  The growth continues, the wind continues to blow.  Before him is the short distance down and the limitless horizons in front of him.  The risk of falling a bit is far outweighed by the chance to soar with few limits.

Moms have a verb; dads have a title….that is the problem

I contrived the verb Daddin’ because I believe that fathers need a verb that they can carry with them like moms have the verb “to mother” as part of their lives.  Dads only have the noun, the title.  It sounds simple, but I believe it describes and predicts the problems about fatherhood in our society.

If children grew up hearing there was a verb for being a dad–fathering a child only suggests procreation–perhaps young men would have different impressions about what it means to live out the verbs of being a dad instead of merely claiming the title of “father.”  And if all a young man knows is that he holds the title…what is he to do in the day to day business of being a father?

Verbs are words of condition or action.  Dads must own fully their conditions as humans with emotions, strengths and foibles and live out their lives in action.  Titles are noun and tend to be static.  Parenthood is anything BUT static.

Granddaddin’ Watchin’ Daddin’…the cycle continues

This is my first posting on a new blog that takes me to phase two of Daddin’.  The perspective of the book was that of being son to a father and father to three sons, and now I am granddad to a grandaughter.

If you haven’t read the book or its introduction (free preview of the introduction by clicking on the book cover), I coined the term as a verb for dads.  Mothers can mother all their lives, but when you say you saw a man fathering a child, the connotation is only biological.  So, I invented daddiin’ to describe the verb of being a dad.  Each chapter is a verb, full of musings, stories, poetry and journal entries.  As the cosmos would have it, I received my author’s copy of the book less than 48 hours before Lillian was born.  I gave my oldest son his copy of the book (my author’s copy) in the waiting room of the hospital where Lillian was to come to this world.

Now that she is developing her personality and characteristics and sense of humor and….it has been easier to see the interactions between her and her parents.  Since my son is a freelance web designer, he has more time with her and their fun and games are wonderful to watch.  I am learning granddaddin’ while he is learning daddin’ of his own style.

From this blog I will share stories of the next phase of daddin’.  I hope you enjoy.