This Father’s Day, we acknowledge all fathers, because without them there would be no you or me. Fathers literally bear the seed of our existence. This is where it all began.
Celebrate indiscriminately with me today. Allow this holiday to resonate within you, beyond the purchase of a new tie, some handyman tools or perhaps a grill master apron. Let’s forego the typical Father’s Day routine to reflect on how wise our God is to know that we needed earthly fathers to feed, guide and shield us.
Dr. David Popenoe, professor of sociology at Rutgers University and co-director of the National Marriage Project, stated:
“Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers — especially biological fathers — bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring. They provide protection and economic support and male role models. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development.”
The National Fatherhood Initiativeconfirms Dr. Popenoe’s statement in its report explaining that a father’s presence promotes healthy development and is a deterrent to destructive influences such as drug abuse, crime, teenage pregnancy, suicide, runaway and school dropouts. The father-factor gives children a greater rate of success.
However, keeping it 100, fathers are not perfect. No judging, but they can be grumpy, indifferent and harsh at times. Some have even made very costly mistakes. Nevertheless, their presence makes a difference and there is, without a doubt, something inherently “special” about everyone’s Dad.
Unaware of how great or grievous the role fathers play, I took a poll to the streets and asked some folks to share what is or what was special about their father. There was genuine joy and pain; here are their uncensored responses:
“What makes my Dad special to me is the fact that he’s super funny and I’m always cracking up laughing. We are huge movie buffs. That’s something that has always brought us together. I can remember when my sister and I would spend weekends with my Dad, we’d always just chill around the house and watch as many movies as we could and enjoy being around each other. That’s something that will always stick with me.” – Jessica, 25
“I am a huge Marvel fan;they remind me of my hero, my dad. I have known him for 11 ‘long’ years. He knows how to handle me and my sister’s temper tantrums because he is an expert with girls. He takes care of my mom, my sister and myself. He just loves making us happy. Thank you for being the hero!” –Sommy, 11
“What makes my father special is who he was. As a man born in the South, he didn’t have a lot of education. He loved his family and proved it throughout the years. Anybody that knew him knew he was the kind of man you could depend on. I remember one of my uncles broke down on the highway over three hours away — this was before cell phones and beepers — he called my Dad from a pay phone. Without hesitation, my Dad gathered his things and went and got him.” – Alvin, 61
“My father was very special to me. He took the time to ensure that his girls had what they needed to be successful in life. He constantly spoke words of affirmation. Setting the bar high, he often referred to me as his model daughter. After our mother passed, he took on the responsibility of being a full-time, single dad. Although new to him, he tackled it well — taking us to school, showing us how to prepare meals, grocery shop, pay bills, and he attended all of our school functions. Even after I had a child out of wedlock, he continued to encourage and support me…allowing me to work while he watched my daughter. My father was a true father.” – Monique, 37
“My father was young when I was born. Though I knew of him, we didn’t have a father-son relationship. He was not able to give me the care that a father should because he did not have it. From a distance, I have developed some of his traits of [being] hardworking, always saying yes to helping others, and sometimes I am too laid back like he is.” – Dean, 38
“My father — with nine sons and one daughter — in my opinion, is Superman. My father was hard working until retirement. He is a man that took care of an ill wife and son (who lived in the same house) until their deaths two weeks apart from each other and still he had the strength to hold our family together. I appreciate everything he has done for me.” – Melvin, 51
These sentiments are extraordinary glimpses into fatherhood.
Parents, between us, it doesn’t take much to be special in the eyes of your child. Indeed, each person could have taken the opportunity to put their father on blast for his shortcomings, but instead, they chose to accentuate his “specialness” — even if that included only one thing.
Happy Father’s Day, dads! You rock!
Marnita Coleman is an author and host of The Marnita Show, a parenting show heard daily across the globe. For more information, log onto TheMarnitaShow.com.