I rarely focus on “Father’s Day” or make a big deal of it every June when society tries to focus in on fathers. I guess this is due to the fact that I don’t have a Dad or perhaps it’s because I was raised by a man who I thought was my father until the age of 14 when I found out he was my stepfather. Hmm, kind of sucks to find out at such an old age that the man around the house I thought was my father really wasn’t. Not that it was such a loss to me since he really didn’t act like what think a father should act like. Anyways, not to get all sad and make you feel like you have to feel sorry for me, really you don’t need to, I don’t feel sorry for myself and neither should you.
Father’s Days to me was great before my father in-law passed away because he was a great man, the best grandfather ever and he treated me like his daughter which meant the world to me. I miss our family outings for brunch where the entire family met, ate, drank, told jokes and shared good and bad memories on that special day. Even though he is no longer with us, I still feel his presence around and am very grateful to have had him in our lives.
So what is the meaning of being a father? In my world being a father is not just fathering a child, it’s being responsible for this life if you choose to be. There is nothing wrong if you change your mind later, just don’t be an ASSteroid about it. It can be the single father who either lost his mate or was left by her to take care of a child, or children, on his own because he felt it was his duty. It’s the man who couldn’t father a child but took in the child of another because he yearned to be one. It’s also the man who fell into the job by either being lied to by a woman who passed the child on as his, or the man who loved a woman so bad he also fell in love with her kids and didn’t care she didn’t want to have any more. I also say being a father doesn’t necessarily mean you must have a child of your own because it could be that uncle, brother or cousin who takes in your kids as if they were his. Then I must include that a father could also be that woman who is raising her child on her own be it by her own choice or due to circumstances beyond her control but she too is considered a father because she is single-handedly taking care of her own.
Now why did I feel the need to write about Father’s Day when I’m the Queen of anti-commercialized holidays? Perhaps it’s because I feel there are many extraordinary Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles etc out there who do NEED the recognition and who am I to dampen it for them? Or perhaps it’s because in my third, or maybe it’s the fourth, mid-life crisis I am getting soft and mushy inside (great, send in the guys in the white coats) and feel that this day should be just as important as Mother’s Day (nah!!). I don’t know what it is because sometimes I feel men get far too much attention to deserve a ‘day’ to make them feel even more like conquerors.
The truth is, I miss my father in-law terribly during this time, I see how Mr. Eve is a great father (although as a husband he needs to read the manual, that to-do list is not getting done as I expected) and he would do anything for our boys (which is why I don’t mind being number 2 or 3 on his list, so long as our boys are on the top of the list, I’m good with that). The other truth is I have a pet peeve with this Father’s Day and Mother’s Day thing society feels the need to make a big deal out it. Why? Read on…
I strongly feel that with the many children out there living with one parent, society needs to be sensitive to this and stop forcing our children to make those stupid macaroni necklaces, tie-shaped cards or anything which represents a parent during these so-called ‘special days’. Why am I so against this you ask? Because it is so unfair to the child being raised without a father to have his mother explain to him or her why he doesn’t have a daddy. Maybe his dad passed away before he was born, maybe his dad left before he was born, maybe his mom decided to have a child without a man or maybe his parents are the same-sex and now they have to explain this.
Mother’s Days and Father’s Days adds too much pressure to those children with one parent. I personally feel schools need to stop focusing on those darn cards, letters and presents they make the kids work on because if I were a young child and my dad was dead, why would I want to make a gift for him? Why would I want to make a gift if my parents are divorced? Why make a gift just to pretend I was just like all the kids in my class because our school system is so insensitive to think of this?
I don’t know, this is something I had to share and I hope it’s not offensive to those who go out shopping, making plans for brunch, wrapping presents etc. I only hope that those who are in the ‘one parent’ situation don’t feel the need to over explain or overdo these so-called special days because just by being yourself and by loving and caring for your child…that is all you need to make a difference in their lives.
Life is all about how we carry ourselves, the examples we set, the way we love and care for those who are important to us. If you know how to do this, then you are way ahead of the game.
In closing I do wish all the men (and single moms) A WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL FATHER’S DAY this Sunday, in June of 2011.
Life is always great!