One Father’s Day morning, Lil’ Joe gave me a Father’s Day card at church. I was so thankful! He was 10 years old back then. And when Jasmyn was 20, she gave me this beautifully hand-written Father’s Day card. I was so humbled.
But I couldn’t help but wonder if Lil’ Joe also gave a card to Big Joe, his father. And if Jasmyn wrote her father a nice Father’s Day card too.
See…I don’t have any children. But my good-Christian affinity to help single mothers…in Lil’ Joe’s case…and young adults like Jasmyn, put me in Happy Father’s Day status in their eyes.
Father’s Day Shade
Stepfather’s, uncles and male mentors have long since played the role of father-figure in a child’s life when their father wasn’t around. Should there be dad-shade thrown at them…or me…for receiving an honorary Father’s Day nod? Of course not. So why is there canopy-like shade thrown at single mothers who step in and do the same thing for their children when their fathers aren’t around?
There appears to be a growing chorus of men and women who believe Father’s Day should be for fathers only…and single mothers should let them have their day.
To this I say, ‘to whom this applies…it applies!’ Meaning, if your dad was/is active in parenting you, then you shouldn’t be wishing your mother a Happy Father’s Day. But if he didn’t/isn’t, then I believe it’s right and just to honor your mother for doing the job.
Father vs. Dad
“A man can be a father. But not every father can be a dad.”
Raising a child involves a father’s active participation. And that active participation gives him the more emotional…the more endearing term of dad. Feel what I mean???
If you grew up with a father who was not active…or not as active…in your life, you can comfortably refer to him as “my father.” Father is like a man’s position. It defines his relationship to you. But wouldn’t it feel weird to you if you referred to him as “my daddy” or “my dad”? A man can be a father. But not every father can be a dad. A ’dad’ is like a man’s esteemed status. It kinda tells people who your father is to you.
The Person Who Plays the Role Gets the Honor
My wife’s father died when she was 8-years old. When her mom was alive, she used to send her Father’s Day cards. Why? Because everything her father was supposed to do for her and her five siblings…her mother did it.
Therefore, if the mother is forced to step in and take on daddy’s roles, then it’s the mother who gets the Father’s Day honor. And she should be honored indeed…because the other 364 days of the year, she also gets the blame, the responsibility, the stress, the worry, the headaches and the instability that comes along with playing both roles.
So come Father’s Day, to whom this applies…you go ahead and celebrate your mother for being both mommy and daddy. And to whom this doesn’t apply, Imma need you to go somewhere and saa-down, shut up and be thankful you had a dad who actively participated in your life. Because not everyone grew up as fortunate as you.