A few days later, while we were visiting my 13)in-laws on 14)Cape Cod, I woke up suddenly before dawn and thought of a way I might help recreate my voice for them. I started making a list of six men—from all parts of my life, beginning when I was a child and stretching through today. These are the men who know me best. The men who share my values. The men who helped shape and guide me. The men who traveled with me, studied with me, have been through pain and happiness with me.
Men who know my voice.
That morning I began 15)composing this letter.
I believe my daughters will have plenty of resources in their lives. They'll have loving families. They'll have welcoming homes. They'll be able to go to college and travel the world. They'll have each other. But they may not have me. They may not have their dad.
Will you help be their dad?
Will you listen in on them? Will you answer their questions? Will you take them out to lunch every now and then? Will you go to a soccer game if you're in town? Will you watch their ballet16)moves for the 17)umpteenth time? When they get older, will you 18)indulge them in a new pair of shoes? Or buy them a new cell phone, or some other 19)gadget I can't even imagine right now? Will you give them advice? Will you be tough as I would be? Will you help them out in a crisis? And as time passes, will you invite them to a family gathering on occasion? Will you introduce them to somebody who might help one of their dreams come true? Will you tell them what I would be thinking? Will you tell them how proud I would be?
Will you be my voice?
And as I lay on my bed that morning on Cape Cod, staring out at 20)Buzzards Bay, and hoping I didn't wake Linda as I shook with tears, I said to myself that I would call this group of men, “The Council of Dads.”
The Council of Dads. Six men. All very busy and burdened with their own challenges, but together, collectively, they might help 21)father my potentially fatherless daughters.