Isn’t that a shame - a shame that so many assume the last part of this adage to be true? Naturally, dads are special to their kids, and that is how it should be. However, it shouldn’t stand that a man has to be ‘special’ to be a dad. That’s suggesting your average male is not a good dad. And while it is true that many men are not responsible fathers, most are. It would be dishonest to assume that your average guy were not capable of ‘Dadhood’, as I like to call it.
With that said, I prefer to say ‘Happy Dad’s Day’, and that includes everyday guys who make up the large majority of dads. The reason I prefer ‘Happy Dad’s Day’ goes back to the truth that “anyone can be a father”.
When you have 43% of United States children living without their fathers in 2013, [US Department of Census], you have problem. Of course some men don’t live with their children but are still wonderful dads. Then again, there are men who live with their children but still do not take responsible actions to tend to their families’ welfare. However, when 43% of homes with children do not have a father living with them, then a large percentage of that statistic is due to men who never own up to their fatherhood duties. I could never honor a man for merely ‘donating’ sperm without taking on the responsibilities that go with it. Therefore, it should be dads that are paid tribute, not the larger population of men called fathers, which includes those who are biological fathers only.
Father's Day is meant to be a celebration honoring men who are fathers and celebrating fatherhood, along with the influence of fathers in society. It came long after Mother’s Day and had a difficult time catching on. Many suspected it of being a commercial ploy and there is certainly some truth to that. Mother’s Day, however, is much more of an accepted and popular celebration. Another example of the back seat men take as parents.
I don’t ever remember celebrating Father’s Day as a kid. I don’t even know if I heard of Father’s Day back then. My father did not fulfill his responsibilities to his six children and was often not around. That may be the primary reason my family never celebrated it. I’m certain I would have written my father a note, as a young boy, wishing him a “Happy Father’s Day”. I would have because I looked up to him as any young man would look up to his father. He wouldn’t have deserved it, but I wanted him to deserve it, and I didn’t know any better at the time. (See "When Your Heart Lags Your Brain" )
There are many kinds of dads and we wish them all a wonderful Dad’s Day! There are military dads, stay-at-home-dads, gay dads, corporate dads, single dads, blue collar dads, divorced dads and more. What makes these guys ‘dads’ is not merely being fathers, but how they may be described.
When a father is described as loving, dedicated, involved, consistent, caring, affectionate, and nurturing, then he truly is much more than just a father. He is someone who values his children, understands his own value to them, and is responsible for their well-being. The short description for that man is….Dad!
Happy Dad’s Day to all of you dads out there! And keep up the good work!