Parenting is a wild ride. We ask for help only to get jumble of clashing answers in return. With so many styles, opinions, products, and experts, it's no wonder we feel overwhelmed. I know I do! As both a lover and teller of stories, I often dive into fiction for a reprieve. This got me thinking; why am I drawn to certain characters? As guides and mentors, their actions have taught me lessons I innately wished to know as a mother. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce four of my favorite fandom father figures!
Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter
"Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all, those who live without love."
I have always been in awe of Dumbledore's wisdom. He was deeply devoted to the power of love, integrity and courage. It was only natural for Harry to put him on a grand pedestal. Albus strove to bestow all the traits of a hero upon the young wizard: bravery, honor, and dauntless optimism. He inspired Harry to believe in himself! Yet I believe that Dumbledore's most dazzling lesson was his humanity. As the plot thickened, his flaws and failures unfolded before Harry's eyes. The boy had to swallow the hard truth that there are shades of grey to everyone, even his beloved idol. He learned that mistakes can be forgiven and that love goes beyond the cracks to honor the whole person.
The lesson: As parents, we're so afraid of making mistakes and revealing that we don't truly have it all together. Let's strive to be more transparent with our kids so they understand that emotions are okay. Pain is okay. Flaws are okay. We'll always love them, anyway.
Bobby Singer from Supernatural
"As fate would have it, I adopted two boys. And they grew up great. They grew up heroes."
Don't let the sour exterior of Bobby Singer deceive you. In between exorcising demons and fishing the Winchester boys out of trouble, he remains a sunny patch in their dark lives. Even though trauma stole from him the belief that he could raise children properly, he became a father figure for Sam and Dean. With their own dad consumed by a vendetta against all things supernatural, "Uncle" Bobby picked up the slack. He offered them the simple things such as playing catch, watching movies and just being kids. In the face of all odds, his loyalty to "his boys" truly shines.
The lesson: Some new moms and dads fear that they'll repeat the mistakes of their own parents. With love and dedication, you can take a new path. You can determine what kind of parent you will be. That is the beauty of parenthood; it's a one-of-a-kind bond that begins anew and grows with you.
Charles Xavier (Professor X) from X-Men
"Just because someone stumbles and loses their way, doesn't mean they're lost forever."
It is no easy task to unite a motley, disparaged crew of mutants. But there's the key; the Professor believes that their deviant origins should be embraced. He encourages them to find the beauty in their eccentricities and to employ their gifts for good. By taking them all under his wing, he seeks to lift their confidence and establish equality for all.
The lesson: Embrace the quirks of your child's self-expression! A free spirit and a solid sense of confidence will give your child wings to explore the world and find their stride.
Euphegenia Doubtfire from Mrs. Doubtfire
"But if there's love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you'll have a family in your heart, forever."
When quirky, easygoing dad Daniel Hillard loses custody of his children, he employs his knack for voices and sprawling imagination to stay close to them. He transforms into Mrs. Doubtfire and becomes an invaluable part of the family. Not only does he reinvent his own life and grow as a parent, he aids in healing the rift between the mother and his kids. After many hoops and hurdles, his dedication is triumphant; the family is united and he credits love for making it possible.
The lesson: As parents, this truth is near and dear to our hearts. When it comes to our children, we know just how tight love binds us together, whether snuggling in bed or thousands of miles apart. No matter the circumstances - where there's love, there's a way.
So there you have it! Four fandom fathers that have made me cry, laugh and cheer. Who are some of your favorite fictional role models?
Find more about the author: Kim Hart