My Open Letter to Fathers

Expanding a little on what we talked about on the Thursday show (see on-demand podcast), and in honor of Father’s Day…

First, let me wish you a happy Father’s Day, if you are, or are about to be, a dad. I’m grateful to you, and we all should be. You are among the most under-appreciated people I know. So, some things need to be said.

We need good, steady, calm fathers, despite the culture’s current drumbeat about toxic masculinity and the heroism of many single moms.

It might be more apt to say that we are seeing, all around us, the symptoms of the demotion, or absence, of fathers.

From the vulnerability of children to the decline in trade vocations.

The woke-ism invading so many institutions.

The declining birth-rate and trend in declining and delaying marriage.

Almost every time you turn on a sitcom, or buy tickets to a movie, you sit through the depiction of dads as the dopiest, slowest, Gumpiest simpletons in the script. In many plots, the “dad” is just there to hold down the lounge chair and mutter some laugh lines.

In truth, it’s something of a miracle, what you do.

Every day, a man who never thought he would, or could, steps into the role of his lifetime. He discovers an innate instinct for everything from diaper changes to scraped knees, he learns how to whisper-sing songs and stories at bedtime, he reprises his hide-and-seek skills, and he attends his first tea party.

Nope, he doesn’t drop the baby.

He finds out that he has remembered good examples his own dad and uncles may have set, or he takes his cue from men he admired.

He does things his peers half-jokingly told him he’d be no good at doing.

It doesn’t feel like sacrifice, and it does feel like it’s moving along too quickly.

My friend, you are a dad.

And we need you.

Dads actually mean it when they say they don’t want a present for Father’s Day. It doesn’t mean we don’t want anything, though.

Tell me if you agree: we DO want more time with our kids, as kids. And we want more time with them when they are no longer kids.

We want those long rides in the car.

We want those hands we used to hold.

We want those crayon drawings.

(Honestly, if I could give the kids one piece of advice: you’re never too old to make something for your dad. One year, my daughter made me home-made doughnuts. It was like receiving gold.)

We want you to be ok. (Kids, if you’re OK, let dad know. Often.)

Society is signaling that fatherhood is a quaint anachronism, like fender-skirts or rotary phones.

I see you, though, many of us do.

And we thank you. Pass it on.

 

 

 

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