Father’s Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to celebrating the fathers in our lives. Their contributions, their achievements, and their influence in the lives of their children and/or grand-children. As fathers, they have earned their day of recognition, just as mothers have their own day. Which leads me to my point…..
Father’s Day is for fathers.
As someone who was a single mom, I get it. There is an insane need in our culture to boost up those who somehow managed to make it without a man in their lives. Who beat the odds and raised their off-spring alone. There is a day for that. A day set aside to specifically say, “Great job! You are truly amazing!” However, Father’s Day is not it.
We cry, “What about the widowed women, the ones who have chosen to have children as single women, and the same-sex partners who have children together? What do we say to these amazing women who are doing it alone?” How do we, as a culture, handle the stigma that still comes from not having a “man” to father our child(ren)? Frankly, you acknowledge those mothers’ accomplishments on the day that is already set aside for them…Mother’s Day.
Father’s Day is for fathers. It is to celebrate the good ones. It is to mourn the ones who are no longer with us. It is to thank those whose actions made us stronger. It is to recognize the contributions their presence (or lack thereof) made in our lives. It is the opportunity to honor the men who have stepped up and become fathers for those who aren’t their flesh and blood. It is to thank those who, simply by being a man, helped a woman become a mother. It is a day set aside specifically for fathers and that intent should be respected.
Here’s to the men in my life…
To my daddy:
You raised me to be strong, independent, and carefree. You taught me how to embrace my eccentricities. You taught me a stranger is only a friend waiting to happen. You taught me the importance of standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. You taught me too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing. You taught me that sometimes family is who you choose to let in and not just flesh and blood. You taught me that love has less to do with words and more to do with actions. You taught me you always take care of those you love.
To my husband:
You stepped in and chose to father a child who was not your own. You not only stepped in, but you stepped up by adopting her. For that, I will always be eternally grateful. You have shown our girls what consistent, unwavering love looks like. You have shown them how a man should treat a woman by treating them with respect and love. You have shown what faithfulness and dedication looks like. Your work ethic inspires me to be more and do more. Your support for everything I do blows me away. The way you hold down the fort every time I have to leave for a birth, or to pick up a placenta, or for roller derby, or any of the other millions of plates I spin, is so incredibly helpful. Thank you for cooking almost every night. We laugh about it, but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have survived if you didn’t do that simple task for our family. Thank you for all your patience while living in a house with four little women.
To my father-in-law:
You helped create my husband and helped form his view of what a man should be in his formative years. You accepted us into your home multiple times and embraced your grandchildren with love and abandon. You have guided us with wisdom, open-arms, and heart-felt advice countless times. You have taught me the importance of always having a plan B.
To you, and to the fathers new and old, I wish you Happy Father’s Day!