On Sunday, we are celebrating my gender’s contribution to parenthood in the form of Father’s Day.
It is a good thing because the role a good father plays in raising the children is immense. Mothers are amazing beings, but a father figure remains a unique piece of the puzzle of raising balanced and well-adjusted children.
They serve as role models for their sons and teach them the fine art of manliness. And serve as an example to their daughters on how a good man acts; and gives them a measure of what to look for and value in a man.
And while a woman doesn’t need a man to complete her, a loving relationship between parents remains an unrivalled example of what commitment, faithfulness, forgiveness and discipline should be – precious life skills which will serve a child for the rest of his or her life.
So if you have such an excellent father in your life – whether it is a husband, life partner, dad or stepdad – treasure him, because such a person is a rare gem that makes the other 364 days of the year so much better.
Even more so, stepdads – men who step up to accept what is possibly the most difficult and thankless parenting job on Earth.
But, I’m afraid, my gender has very little to celebrate when it comes to parenthood.
In our country, a third of all children grow up without an involved father. A shockingly large percentage of all fathers abandon their responsibility when it comes to their offspring, while many others offer nothing more than financial assistance.
Far too many children are raised by single mothers. For these boys and girls, the only father they know is a woman who also has to be a mother and a breadwinner.
My dear Snapdragon is such a woman. For close to a decade, she took sole responsibility for her son. That boy has a biological father and a grandfather who played a huge role in his upbringing. And for the past three or four years, I grew into the role of a father figure. But the best dad he has ever known was the woman he calls mom.
If you have great dads in your life, spoil them on Sunday. They deserve it. But keep a very special place in your heart for single moms – the finest fathers many of our children can ever hope for.