My favorite title, and the men who taught me how to deserve it…

***Note: This post is an integration of two previous ones… Happy father’s day to my PRican and American friends!


Most of us have titles, nay, I’d say that all of us have titles. In polite society titles are necessary. For example, my least favorite titles (when applied to me) are “Mr.” or “Sir”. You see, I used to be “man” and sometimes even “dude”. When did I become a “Sir”? When did I stop seeing a guy in the mirror and started seeing a gentleman?

As I said, I don’t like those titles.

Anyway, I have some other titles too. Because of my academic preparation, I am “Dr.” and because of my work, I am “Professor”; these ones I like. I even love them. But as proud as I am of them, and as hard as I worked to deserve them, these are not my favorite titles.

My favorite titles were endowed to me by three very special people in my life: my daughter and my boys:


Not bad, huh?

My daughter calls me “Papi”, which translates as “Daddy”. My boys call me “Papá”, which means “Dad”. And those are my favorite titles, bar none, because of what they represent. When my children call me by any of those names, they are not just names. They imply that the person who is worthy of those titles will always have their back, will always love them unconditionally, and would gladly give his life for them.

That’s me.

They are wonderful titles, and every single day, I do my best to become a better man and I work very hard to deserve them. As the saying goes, virtually every man can become a father; fewer of us get to be a daddy or a dad.


Oh, and these titles also give me the right and pleasure of being silly with them…


Now, about the men who taught me how to be a dad…

Some days ago I was at the supermarket and saw a science magazine. I bought it with the intention of sharing it with my youngest son, Andy, the one from the best text message ever, who has scientific tendencies. He politely looked at it and said it was “cool”. He is, after all, a digital native. What can we do? However, that made me remember of the times when my dad used to bring me science magazines. My dad is no longer with us; he left in 2009. I miss him. He taught me how to be a good dad.

In another post, I alluded to how he supported my scientific curiosity since I was a child. He was a great dad to his 5 children, and he spoke fondly of when he was little and my grandfather (who is also gone) came back from work, dog-tired (he was a carpenter) and he still found time to play catch with my dad, who loved baseball. I’d like to think that I honor them by trying to be a good dad to my own kids. Thank you both, and I hope to see you again.




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1 Comment

  1. As much as your work is significant and contributes to the way we understand behavior-related neuroscience in a simple model and as much as your students have benefited from the hard work of teaching (and I know this firsthand) there is nothing more important than the quiet and largely unacknowledged work that you do by being a daddy to your children. It’s really cool that your blog posts reflect that you already know this truth. And anybody reading this and don’t know, yes, parenting is hard work and, yes, you will look back someday and say it was worth the trouble and, yes, it will matter to the rest of us.


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