They're Out There!
From the titular exclamation you read above, you may be thinking, "Oh boy! She's writing about all the crazies we're seeing in the news right now - "
Nope. This one has nothing to do with throngs of people swarming on a Florida beach or ladies facing a stranger while walking their unleashed dog in a public space. This Happy Heart Writer will leave that sort of reporting to the so-called "experts".
The they to whom I'm referring are the dads out there, slaying every day; the ones who are working hard to provide and protect, and are engaged in the lives of their children.
Yes! They're out there! I know, I know. Those of you who read my Father's Day blog post from last year, titled "Unsung Heroes", or have read my Father's Day Holiday Short, True Calling, know how "parent privileged" I've been in my life to have enjoyed a lovely relationship with my dad and with my late husband -- both of whom were truly the best fathers ever. Therefore I will spare you the repeated soliloquy that regales their loving commitments to their families.
Lest you do not believe there are no "few good men" in your midst, let me tell you what I see as I enjoy one of my favorite pastimes: people watching.
I see fathers and grandfathers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds quietly coming and going as they work -- sometimes more than one job or extremely long hours outside and inside the home -- to provide or care for their families. There are dads who are full time stay-at-home care givers of their kids; and not just during a forced sheltering-in-place order, either. It's what they do, day in day out.
I see dads at the park, in the street, riding bikes, playing ball, doing homework, sometimes wreaking havoc, fill-in-the-blank with their kids.
Single, married, partnered, whatever the status. They're out there. I realize the rough statistics surrounding fathers and their absence in the home. I'll spare you the statistics (if you truly need them in your life, visit Parents Plus Kids.com and read their article called "43 Fatherhood Statistics Trends & Analysis"), but they only prove to us how vital dads are in our lives.
Try growing up without one. My dad did. His father passed away when my dad was only six years old. An only child with a mother who had to work long hours to provide for the two of them (this was back in the day when there was no help for single moms. They were expected to re-marry or rely on family), he basically grew up alone. It wasn't until the age of fifteen that by joining a neighborhood church -- and later, his four year service in the United State Navy -- that he encountered healthy fathers who took a special interest in him. He formed bountiful relationships with responsible loving men who cared.
Yes, despite what we sometimes read / watch in the news, there are men in churches who are wonderful father figures . . .great examples of what it means to become a man, and willing to teach a young fatherless boy. I see men volunteering precious time to coach kids in team sports all year 'round; and let's not forget about men who have chosen to teach for a living when we all know they could earn triple the money doing something else!
They're out there, Dear Hearts!
Whoever the dad or father figure is in your or your kids' lives, celebrate him more than just once per year. And give him something he actually wants! I watched a cartoon the other day depicting a grumpy father who dreaded this holiday. As his family paraded before him with what they decided were appropriate gifts, his irritation grew. All he wanted was a little peace and quiet -- and maybe a nice meal. It was a cartoon and supposed to be funny, of course. But by the end, the dad was so frustrated, laughter was replaced with feeling sorry for him! Figure it out, Dear Hearts! We go all out for Mother's Day (and we should!), but whatever you give the dad in your life, make sure he wants it!!
If you don't have a dad to honor and celebrate, Dear Hearts, go find one: a gentleman with a real father's heart.
They're out there.
OK, enough already. You get it. I love you all (especially the fathers) and I'll leave you to it.