Hands Off Our Holiday - Sincerely, Dads

I haven’t always been Father’s Day’s biggest fan. My grandmother suffered a massive fatal heart attack on her way to see us on Father’s Day 1983 and the holiday was tainted for the next 14 years. My son was born on Father’s Day 1997 and that greatly improved the holiday. I was lucky enough to celebrate it with my Dad whom I lost two years later.

There seems to be a kind of movement going on regarding single moms and Father’s Day. Hallmark has even put out Happy Father’s Day cards for them. Of course, they were politically correct and did Mother’s Day for single dads but I doubt you heard of them. I can testify my Facebook wall wasn’t covered with images commemorating the unsung single dads. That hasn’t been the case on Father’s Day.

I’m very sensitive to the plight of single moms, I married one after all. There are a variety of reasons why parents end up raising a child alone and the reason why that happened really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is the trend diminishing the role of fathers and male role models in general.

Instead of sensitive and caring commercials about devoted fathers we’re subjected to the never ending torrent of father’s as the screw up. We can’t watch the kids without the house getting trashed, we’d rather go fishing than change a diaper and we do little more than barbecue. Everywhere you turn there’s an ad with the bumbling clueless father, something that would be unheard of on Mother’s Day.

So, as a father I’m not here to diminish the role of single moms, I’m just asking you to leave our holiday alone. You have Mother’s Day, it’s a multi-billion dollar business. If you are raising your child on your own I encourage you to find a male role model for your daughter or son. There are a multitude of studies and statistics that show kids that come from fatherless homes are living in an endangered environment. Do something about it and find a special Father’s Day for that man who surely deserves it.

This father is not perfect, but he’s not a bumbling idiot. For most of my son’s life we did the “hand off” with Aidan. I worked days and his mom worked nights. For the first six years of his life I sang him to sleep nearly every night as it was the only way he could get to sleep. I’ve been actively involved in his education always pushing for him to be in the right program for his disability. I’ve done my best to be a great father to my son; I’m not looking for a card, I’m not looking for a gift, I’m not looking for a medal – just leave our holiday alone.