Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

Photo by Winnond
Last Sunday was Father's Day. We spent that weekend with a trip to visit my dad and a whirlwind trip to the Virginia mountains where Little Man was born. Since Husband and I are not good with the gift-hint thing, Husband is still deciding what he wants for Father's Day. When he decides, he'll tell me, and Little Man and I will go get it. Or if it's heavy, Husband will get it. It may sound cavalier that we pick our own gifts, but it's not. When we get it, we get exactly what we want. And, being *ahem* over 35, our romantic expectations are more realistic. Even though Husband would probably be proud of his wife for knowing exactly what power tool would be perfect, I would be a little creeped-out if he knew the perfect purse.

What Father's Day is, is the appreciation of fatherhood. Fathers are important. I know that my dad was, and is, very influential in my life and someone I know I can always turn to for advice, truth, and support. Love you Dad! There has been, it seems, a message since the 1970s at least, that fathers aren't necessary. I think that explains the number of single mothers increasing in number. Depending on the source you investigate, the statistics show that as much as one-third of the children in the U.S. are born to single mothers.

So, these are the questions that pop into my mind:
  • Where are the fathers of these children? Why don't they take responsibility for their offspring?
  • Why would any woman want to be a single mom? It's hard work made harder without support.
  • What is the impact of fatherlessness on the children?
I think a lot of nonsense has been spewed in recent years in the media and college campuses that try to equate male and female roles. "A woman can do anything a man can do." "Women are equal to men." "Men can be equally nurturing in child care as a woman." Blah, blah, blah. While I don't dispute the equality of men and women, I say out loud, we are not the same. Our abilities and skills are not the same. Our minds are not the same. Our bodies are not the same. So, equal and equally important, yes. The same? No! Duh.

I know that when Little Man feels tired, sick, hungry, lonely, uncomfortable, or scared he will cling to me. And when Little Man feels like exploring, learning to do something, being physical, or playing he wants his dad. Why? because I nurture, coo, hold, sing, comfort, and provide calm consistency. Husband, on the other hand, provides strength, confidence, and surety. Our equal but different qualities provide Little Man with all his emotional needs.

Shouldn't we as a culture be concerned about the children? I don't say society because we do that already. We provide subsidized housing, day care, medical care, school breakfast and lunch, free education, etc. As a society we do provide for the children. Our village does help support the children when the families cannot do it alone. But as a culture shouldn't we strive for more than just child support? Shouldn't we say, "Hey, fathers are important." "Intact families are important." Shouldn't we recognize that it takes two - a father and a mother - to make the child and thus raise the child with their equal albeit different strengths? Isn't the emotional stability of the child just as important as its financial stability?

I haven't even touched on discipline. Mothers discipline much differently than fathers. And how do you discipline and soothe at the same time? Father's make more head-way in instilling appropriate behavior by being stern. Will there be tears? Probably. That's when mom steps in as support to the discipline, wiping tears, explaining that the child is still loved but the behavior isn't, how to apologize, etc. It take two.

Anyway, Father's Day is a day to appreciate the fathers in our lives and to let them know they are loved and needed and respected. Happy Father's Day Dad and Husband! I love you both!

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