So I didn’t pack a lunch this morning.

And because I didn’t pack a lunch this morning, I fully intended to spend money at my work’s cafeteria.

I’ve been training with a coworker for the past week and a half, and he’s normally one to bring his own lunch and eat at his desk.

However! Today, he happenchance’d to invite me to eat lunch in the cafeteria as an easy way to meet up for me to transition over to his area (since he works on the completely opposite side of the plant from me).

I got to meet a few of his buddies at lunch as I enjoyed a delicious taco salad. Pico de gallo. Mmm.

My coworker-who-is-training-me is expecting his third child to be born here very soon, and that was a topic of discussion during our consumption of foodstuffs at lunch. I kind of got the vibe that his two buddies eating lunch would make fun of him. You know, because it’s totally bro to make fun of the bro who is tied down in marriage having kids (sigh).

But he said something that resonated really well with me like a resounding chorus of djembes. Why djembes? I dunno, but it was awesome. In the discussion about kids, he briefly talked about his two-year old daughter who is now beginning to talk. He said something to the effect of, “The best word in the world is ‘daddy’.” He continued on with something like, “There’s nothing more awesome than being called ‘daddy’ by your children.”

Because of my initial shyness around new people, I didn’t outwardly express my agreement with him apart from a nod and a big smile. On the inside, I briefly reflected on how awesome of a profound thing that he just said. Without a doubt, I know he has a sense of pride because I could sense it from him as he made these comments.

To me, it just makes total sense! Why shouldn’t a father feel immense pride to hear his own kids call him what he is? A daddy! A father!

You see, in this brief moment, he modeled what authentic masculinity is to me. And that sort of pride, that sort of comment, resounds well with me because that’s something I hope to one day experience. A very full and authentic expression of what it means to be a man.

– JD

Picture of father and daughter from Or So She Says…