This is not titled Becoming a Father. Anyone with active sperm can become a father. The world is full of fathers who will never be a Dad.

I became a Dad five years after my first child was born, two years after my second. I was away from the family for months at a time because I was in the military, and I never bonded well initially with my daughters.

I tried to be a good father, but I always felt a bit awkward. It was six months after my first daughter's fifth birthday when I finally was transformed into a Dad. I was up on Christmas Eve, technically Christmas morning, one-thirty in the morning. I was sitting in my living room with a set of instructions written in Chinglish (english written by Chinese who made great engineers but poor translators). A partially-built bicycle was in front of me, and my wife was wrapping more presents that we had rushed out to purchase. As I was bolting on the front tire of the new bicycle for my oldest daughter, I came to realize that I had finally become a Dad. I was sitting up late at night, working on assembling something that was sure to make my daughter squeal with delight as soon as she would enter the living room. I could almost feel the excitement she would have, waiting until she could go ride her new bicycle. It was at that time I felt bonded with my two wonderful daughters. I was on shore duty at that time for the US Navy, teaching electronics. I was spending more and more time with my kids, and we had made up for a lot of lost time together.

Anyone can be a father, but I'm a Dad. It's a wonderful feeling.