So, Father’s Day 2017 just took place, and a few noted friends commented on the lack of equality in how it is usually celebrated compared to Mother’s Day. Just one of such comments got me thinking. I indeed realized that for Father’s Day, the stores only devoted a fraction of their shelving to such greeting cards. It wasn’t hard for me to remember the hoopla surrounding Mother’s Day – not only did those greeting cards cover a couple of store aisles, but, on the day of, there were even street vendors one could see while driving, who were hustling to sell teddy bears and flowers. These were for potential last-minute customers. The idea behind all of that was this: don’t dare miss out on making your mum (or mum figure) feel special! One almost felt obligated.
It’s not quite been the case for Father’s day. In this post I don’t think I want to go into why all that is, or have a discussion about gender equality, or get into the argument that statistically mums are unfortunately more of a constant in people’s lives than are fathers, or into the reasoning that mums go through a lot in terms of pregnancy and child rearing. There is no doubt in my mind (or in anyone’s) that mums are pretty phenomenal, but I don’t think we should be involved in a competition. I think dads simply need to be celebrated in their own right.
It may indeed be the case that there aren’t many true fathers present, but that does not stop any one of us from celebrating and giving honor to those men who have indeed been there, and/or who have stepped into those roles that we undoubtedly needed. There are men who have been mentors, there are stepfathers who became the dads that some boys and girls needed, there are men who otherwise adopted abandoned and/or orphaned children, and there are spiritual fathers who through their lives and choices have directly and indirectly influenced many.
My thing is, if fathers weren’t that great or necessary, why does there seem to be an outcry regarding the lack of them? Not only that, why would it seem like most people’s struggle with dysfunction is pointed back to the absence of a true father? It is time we were straightforward about our love of men. These men. I know, I know. We happen to live in an age of female empowerment where women and girl heroes are greatly highlighted. All well and good, but I don’t think it should be a case of one versus the other. Such thinking and behavior are merely reflexive of the Garden of Eden curse. To do one doesn’t negate the validity of the other. To honor men doesn’t mean one doesn’t admire the role of women. Let’s therefore take the time to not only speak highly of the key men in our lives, but also to revere them in their roles.
I for one have been astounded to see the beauty of manhood that was only more manifest when my husband became a father. From that first day of absolute giddiness (I truly had never seen that side of him), I’ve only had more and more surprises. Good ones, thank God. Ok, well, he’s still that guy who is going to turn his kid upside down in the air, just for fun, causing me to internally and externally freak out in fear for our baby, but I’ve also seen the over-protective side of him show up at times. And know what? I absolutely love it. She loves it too. I love the way she looks at him. Those brief, tender moments that go by way before one can video record. But, they are forever in my memory. In those moments, watching them silently interact, I realize that he was made for her, and she for him. I realize that they “found” each other and are meant to walk this path together.
That truth is never to be taken lightly. There is no other man in our lives as our fathers are/were.
Go grab a dad and hug on ‘em today, just because. Even if it’s not technically Father’s day.
In other words, don’t be like Hadley. 🙂