20090617

Father's Day: An Endangered Holiday?

In a few short days, many men across America, and even the world, will be honored for their planting a seed into fertile ground that brought forth new life. No matter what kind of job you think these men are doing as parents, a holiday has been set aside to recognize the command of a Higher Authority: Honor thy father and mother. I couldn't help but notice during the weeks leading up to this day, that more discussions were heard with a bend towards wayward fathers. I was saddened that more men were being recognized for not doing their part to be in their children's lives, than for those brave warriors who stand in battle the entire 18 years and longer, to make sure their children are provided and cared for. America is going through a topsy turvy type of turmoil today, as adults are trying to redefine what constitutes a family. Two men can show up in a classroom, as well as two women, and call themselves the parents of a child. But this is about Father's Day; not Parent's Day. I will do all I can to not put a negative spin on such an important life celebration that has far too many "Baby Daddy's" wearing this title. It would be too easy to blame the males carrying this title; except, the owness belongs to females who in the majority of cases, allow these seeds to be planted in the first place. There was a time when the only birth control was rhythmically based. Although some people swear by this method, and that's good, I can only shake my head at attempting to master something so potentially life-altering. Aside from the pill, there's the patch and a host of other means for not getting pregnant. Even developing a montra, "No condom, No Sex" would be better than just letting ten seconds of doing something, turn into a lifetime of woe figuring out how to financially provide for a child. I love children as much as the next person, but they are very expensive. But, I digress, for this is about Father's Day; and a more pressing concern, which is that too many children are fatherless by way of absentee, off-the-radar papas. Too many men are virtual-parenting. Some are living across country from their children, some from a prison cell sending pre-made cards, only to be released from the penetentiary, totally denying the responsibility that parenthood requires. I realize that prison life can change a man for life; but, the sad news is that these same men will re-enter society and make more children, with more women, making more baby daddy's and even worse, more baby mama's. It's a spiraling trap, that always leans toward the weakening fiber of the intact family. But, oh yes, this is about Father's Day; not Beat-up-on-papa Day. Sadly, I don't think a man can really afford to be a dad to only the children he brings into the world. I think he has to wear the title for children who don't have a father figure in the home. But all that aside, the truth is society has always been short of father figures on some level. But as I think back, the moral deterioration of society didn't really start with the absentee father. They've always existed for one reason or another. Society and the morality issue in America didn't really begin to surface until someone allowed prayer to be removed from the public school system of this great nation of ours. And all the children, seemingly mostly males, no longer had the strong sense of the truest form of Fatherhood to reflect and rely on. They no longer had that morning prayer engrained in their being that helped raise a level of consciousness within themselves throughout the day. And soon, in the gloomy experience of the absent father, they began to adopt illicit rap stars as the figure head they looked up to. And before long they were old enough to look eye-to-eye with them and fully emmulate their manner of style in dress and behavior. There are a lot of "stars" on television. And I'm always saddened when I see a man, who is definitively married, fail to acknowledge his role as a husband, WITH children, by not wearing the traditional band on the third finger, left hand. Yes, in a few short days, millions will celebrate Father's Day. Perhaps in this day of redefining family on so many levels, perhaps we should consider having a Baby Momma Day and of course a Baby Daddy Day. Let's face it in truth; there is a distinguishing profile that goes with honoring a man who has signed up for the long haul by being a spouse first and a parent to one treasure of children; as opposed to men who walk around like seed bearers without the responsibility of watering and nurturing his implantations. So, to real fathers everywhere, my own included, who despite your imperfections, did, and are doing, your very best to raise God-fearing, morally sound children, kudos, and have the happiest of days.