Being the biological creator of a child does not automatically bestow upon you the honor of a title as important as Mom or Dad. Those things are earned through your love, nurturing and relationship with a child as they grow to adulthood. It comes from being a part of a child’s life and not just someone who shows up once a year demanding worship based solely on genetics. Extended family who appear from the woodwork every decade or so show no love when they demand their “right” to interrupt children’s lives. Real family doesn’t care if there is genetic connections, because the emotional connections are there every day and not when it is convenient. Real families don’t make all their interactions as superficial and phony as Christmas letters. Real family calls, e-mails and writes to say what they are doing and ask what you are doing. Real family listens and cares without judgment. Real family gathers when there is new life, sickness and loss to share in joys and suffering. Real family doesn’t use the word “step” as if it were some sort of loophole. Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Men who have genetic links but no emotional connections will use the day to manipulate the children who they neither know nor share any emotional relationship. Real fathers are the ones who are there, every day. Some fathers can’t be there but involve themselves as though they lived under the same roof. Those men know how much they are loved because they see it in their children’s eyes and hear it in their voices. They won’t demand that they be called by a name of honor, but the luckiest will be given that name anyway.