Happy Father’s Day
Brief historical fact for those who think Father’s Day is just another Hallmark created fake holiday: The first (documented) celebration of Father’s Day occurred in 1910, in Spokane, Washington and was held by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in honor of her father, a Civil War Veteran named William Jackson Smart. He raised six children as a single parent, a likely anomaly of the times. So now you know- now I know, because I, too, thought Hallmark had their hand in this one. They just capitalize on it, is all.
Back on Mother’s Day, I read a piece by a well know and loved female writer. I thought it was terrible. Not terribly written, just terribly negatively skewed. The gist was that she found it insensitive to all those with shitty mother’s, or those unable to have children despite wanting them, to celebrate the beloved ones. Now, I’m all for sensitivity and compassion, but feel guilty for celebrating those who brought you into this world?! C’mom, lady! Even the shitty mother’s should be thanked, whether you agree or not.
Remembering her seemingly bitter words inspired me to write about Father’s Day. This one, even more so than Mother’s Day, really brings out the feels in people, positive and negative. Seems like more people than not have “Daddy Issues”. Either they weren’t there period, or they weren’t there enough… or there sporadically, or there too much. And I’m not minimizing, by the way, I’m just generalizing. Oh, and then you have your different categories of Daddy issues: Boys vs. Girls. That’s a whole book in and of itself.
*Disclaimer: Again, I am generalizing, there are many exceptions to the “rule”:
A Father’s role is so much different than a Mother’s (stating the obvious, I know). The expectations are different. I think, barring the outright selfish pricks, most well intended men are just flying blind & doing the best they know how, with what we (the Mothers) tell them to do. Many are exceptional at it, but still & overall, we’ve trained them to believe that only a Mother can truly know the depth of love for a child, because we’ve carried and birthed them, so therefore, only we, as mother’s can know what’s best for them at all times. Of course they defer, and play secondary parent- who can argue with that logic? By matter of course, they are always in the parental background. When a relationship fails, they often believe it’s best for everyone if they just step away, fade into the background. Is that cowardly? A cop-out? Well, yes, technically it is. But still, a reality.
So, what of it? How should one with this particular set of issues ‘deal with it’? My humble but healthy opinion :
To everyone who cringes at the thought of Father’s Day: stop. Step back for a moment, even if just for today, and give thanks to the male who is partially responsible for bringing you into being. Thank him for sucking at being a father, if it’s the case, because while he may not have taught to how to play ball, or ride a bike, kissed a boo boo or showed you how a real man treats a woman, he taught you who not to be. That, in itself, is a gift.
To the fathers who suck: Really, guys? I mean, really? Perhaps you didn’t have a good father figure growing up to show you how it’s done. It’s possible, likely even. But you can’t tell me you never saw one single example of positive fathering in your whole life. You didn’t watch TV? See Ward Cleaver or Steven Keaton, or Danny Tanner for that matter?? Please. Grow up, be a human being and treat the human being you helped create with some compassion and love.
To everyone with an amazing Dad, and who is an amazing Dad: Happy Father’s Day to you. Thank you for setting a standard for your future generations to aspire to.
To my Dad: I am you, good and not so good, in so many ways. I have always had and have a great life.Thank you. To my ex husband: our girls are most fortunate to have their father’s consistent love and attention. Thank you. To my husband: you’ve taken the role of bonus Dad and made it an art form, and have been a blessing to the girls. Thank you. Life is good, even when it’s not always good, it’s better because of you.
About Modern Melly, aka Melanie Cherniack: Melanie a a published author to nine children’s books, as well as two novels, all available through her website modernmelly.com/shop. Melanie is also the founder and designer of the #goodhuman brand, selling empowering, uplifting and inspiring merchandise which benefits numerous charities. Visit igoodhuman.com for more. She is available for book signing events as well as speaking engagements. To book an event email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find Melly on Facebook HERE and on Twitter HERE.