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Moms are great, but let dads have this day

Updated: July 16, 2014 6:36AM



Random thoughts, in my best Chris Rock voice:

Can we fathers get even one day, just one day, without some sisters demanding credit on our day too? And can we please, please, for father’s sake, at least get the big piece of chicken?

Just random thoughts. Father’s Day is for fathers. No matter how many cards Hallmark prints for its “Mahogany” collection, a mother is not a father. Not even a mother admirably taking on the unenviable task of pulling double duty.

“So is what you’re saying that a woman can’t be a male role model?” a reader wrote.

Duh . . . In my best Maury Povich voice, “You are not the father!”

Just random thoughts. There apparently is a growing trend in recent years, particularly of single mothers wishing themselves a “Happy Father’s Day.” They seem to have forgotten they already have a day. It’s called, uh, Mother’s Day.

Foolishness prevails. “I’m the mama and the daddy,” they say. “My baby doesn’t need a daddy,” they say.

I say, “It still takes a father.”

I say that surely there is some man who has poured into your child’s life — an uncle, grandfather, coach, teacher, mentor, pastor — worthy of receiving a call or card. And I salute good mothers, all of them, and give special kudos to those who, like my mom, have had to parent alone. Still, don’t dampen good fathers’ special day with sideways congratulations to all the “real fathers out there holding it down — not you deadbeat dads.”

In my best Iyanla Vanzant voice, “Be in peace, not in pieces.” We can choose to be bitter or we can choose to be better. My mother taught me this.

When a local all-boys high school to which I was an invited speaker last year also felt the need to invite a woman to give the student body an important public service announcement — that your mother is not your father — it’s clear: “Houston, we have a problem.”

In my best Rodney Dangerfield voice, fathers sometimes get no respect. Even the worst mother is more celebrated than some good fathers.

Just random thoughts . . . You don’t have to be a kid’s natural father to pour into his life. Truth is: If we fail as men to empty out all that is good within us while we live, we will leave behind no legacy when we die.

Dear Father, you can’t afford to wallow in self-pity because of past failures. The stakes are too high.

If you can get to every drinking gathering, every weed-smoking rendezvous, every hoedown and party around town, and hang out with “the fellas” until the sun comes up, and yet, your children’s friends and teachers don’t even know your name, shame on you. If you always have an excuse for why you can never be there for your children, and good men have to carry your load, shame on you. Get up, step up, and most important, show up.

As fathers, we must be a presence rather than an absence in our children’s lives; involved rather than disengaged; connected rather than unplugged; selfless rather than selfish; sacrificial rather than self-absorbed.

Any male can be a sperm donor. It takes a real man to take on the responsibility of being a father. News flash: It’s not about you. It’s about the children.

Just random thoughts.

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life. None sweeter than “Dad.” And nothing I could ever do could even come close to the joy of fatherhood.

Oh yeah, and getting at least that big piece of chicken on our special day.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers.

Email: author@johnwfountain.com



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