An hon­ourable ti­tle

The Compass - - JUNE -

O ne of the most pos­i­tive things in how fam­i­lies have ad­vanced over the past few decades is how the role of fa­ther­hood has changed. If a fa­ther of a young child to­day is com­pared to a fa­ther 30 or 40 years ago (gen­er­ally speak­ing), the role has gone through a mas­sive evo­lu­tion.

It was not a com­mon prac­tice for a man to be chang­ing di­a­pers, feed­ing ba­bies or even go­ing to par­ent-teacher meet­ings; th­ese were moth­ers’ jobs while the fathers were the providers and ab­sent dur­ing the day – away from the me­nial tasks of chil­drea­r­ing to carry out their main job as sole bread­win­ner for his fam­ily.

To­day ma­ter­nity leave is now pa­ter­nity leave. Dads are in de­liv­ery rooms and they pick up gro­ceries with their tod­dlers in shop­ping carts.

They are a com­mon sight at a school to get their child’s progress re­port; they cook din­ner and even bake cook­ies.

Be­cause this mod­ern so­ci­ety we live in al­lows men to be emo­tional and sen­si­tive and ex­press love for their chil­dren openly, fathers are more and more in­volved with their chil­dren.

Many will re­mem­ber a time when a fa­ther seen do­ing such with their chil­dren would be frowned upon as be­ing a neg­a­tive, the man was hen-picked or lack­ing in mas­culin­ity. Thank­fully that chau­vin­is­tic view has van­ished.

But as dif­fer­ent as it is be­ing a fa­ther to­day, as op­posed to 20 or 30 years ago, in many ways it has be­come more dif­fi­cult emo­tion­ally.

Statis­tics tell us th­ese days one in ev­ery two mar­riages ends in di­vorce. That means, for many fathers, hav­ing to live apart from their chil­dren and or ad­just­ing in a step­fa­ther’s role is the or­der of the day.

The tra­di­tional fam­ily snap­shot has changed and still very of­ten means the fa­ther (more so than the mother) liv­ing sep­a­rately from his chil­dren. Many times it is not be­cause he is any less of a par­ent, but rather the courts tend to lean on chil­dren liv­ing with the mother.

Many things bring upon change, but a fa­ther’s heart can break just as eas­ily as a mother’s and that makes days like Fa­ther’s Day sad and wist­ful for too many good men and for many chil­dren. The one thing that hasn’t changed in decades and decades is ev­ery child needs a fa­ther’s love.

A fa­ther re­mains the strength of a fam­ily, the rock and the pro­tec­tor. It’s his role and has been for hun­dreds and hun­dreds of years to pro­vide for and be the leader for his fam­ily.

Many fall short in the role, but most suc­ceed and win the love and ad­mi­ra­tion of the chil­dren for­ever be­cause of the ef­forts they put into their job of be­ing a dad.

Many will pause for thought on Fa­ther’s Day this com­ing Sun­day. Some will think of the fa­ther that is no longer alive and miss him. Some will make a great ef­fort to visit and spend the day with their fa­ther and re­al­ize how for­tu­nate they are to be able to do that.

Some will call their fathers and wish they could be close enough to visit and to hug the man who means so much. Some who have a fa­ther and step­fa­ther in their lives will con­sider them­selves dou­bly blessed and make sure to tell those spe­cial men the same.

Some will sit down alone, and wish their child would call or wish his child could live with him.

Some fathers will look at their son or daugh­ter on this first Fa­ther’s Day and be ever so grate­ful to have some­one to call them ‘ Daddy’. Some will look at their chil­dren and pray they can give the wis­dom, pro­tec­tion and love to their own child the same as their fathers gave them.

Happy Fa­ther’s Day to all who have the hon­our of wear­ing the ti­tle. It’s a huge job and of­ten times it seems like a never-end­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity; but the re­wards come in abun­dance.

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