Get ready to cry a little: Our 11 best L.A. Affairs columns about fathers and family

A photo illustration of three sets of hands holding Father's Day cards.
(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

Fatherhood comes in many different forms. Fatherhood means stepping up and owning up to your mistakes and being better the next time around. Those are a few of the lessons learned the hard way and shared over the years in our L.A. Affairs column.

In honor of Father’s Day — it’s Sunday, so there’s still time to get a gift! — we pored over the hundreds of columns we’ve published and found 12 of our favorite pieces about fatherhood and family. Many will make you laugh or want to call or hug your dad or your kid. Some will make you cry.

Among them: a column about a cocky lawyer who swore that marriage and kids were the last things on his mind, and he had no problem telling all his dates that (we won’t spoil it by telling you what happened next); and the story about a music teacher who happily filled the void for a young student who desperately needed a father figure in her life.

And there’s the poignant piece about a young man who stared out the window while commuting to work on a bus each day, wondering about how to take those next few steps into manhood — and fatherhood: “I had this image in my head of what a husband should be. Unsurprisingly, he looked a lot like my dad: He had a mustache, a house and — importantly — a career. I didn’t have any of that. So how could I be a husband if I wasn’t that man?”

Some of these columns made an appearance in our first-ever book, “L.A. Affairs: 65 True Stories of Nightmare Dates, Love at First Sight, Heartbreak & Happily Ever Afters in Southern California,” which would also make a fine Father’s Day gift. We hope you enjoy them.