Father’s Day: What I Loved And What I Hated

FATHER'S DAY PIC

Over a week ago I posted, “Growing-up Fatherless: My Father’s Day Wish.” I decided to do this before Father’s Day because I wanted Father’s Day to be about what it should be about…honoring involved Fathers. Yesterday, I honored two most important Father Figures in my life, my paternal grandfather and my cousin who I lovingly refer to as Daddy. I enjoyed seeing other post of people with their fathers/father figures. I got sad at seeing statuses where people’s story was similar to mine. I became angry when I saw more memes telling women that the day isn’t their’s than women actually claiming the day. I became even angrier when rather than blaming deadbeat fathers for being deadbeats people blamed the mothers for choosing no good men. I calmed down and became re-agitated when I read, “Father’s Day Is Not For Single Mothers.” Then I got sad all over again and I realized that in this patriarchal society, no matter how far we’ve come women will always be last.

Yes, it’s sometimes true. Women could have done a better job at choosing fathers for their children. The same can be said for men choosing mothers for their children. The big elephant in the room that many fail to discuss is that, some women prayed for a good mate. When who they thought was a good man came along they got married and had children only to later find out that he was a sheep in wolves clothing. Why does she have to take accountability for his inactions? Why do women have to continuously be blamed for everything? While I agree that single mothers need not ask for accolades on this day, I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed because rather than telling women that they don’t deserve to be honored on that day they should be telling these dead beat dads that they don’t deserve to be honored either.

I find it amazing that any other day that we honor something, we have no qualms about calling out those that complicate the issue. Parent’s that don’t vaccinate their children are called out for the detriment they are causing society. Failing to protect yourself and your partner are addressed on World AIDS Day along with every other AIDS day. Cancer Awareness month we urge folks to get tested if not for themselves, for their families. Yet on Father’s Day or for that matter Mother’s Day we fail to address the negative issues and I am not talking about women claiming Father’s Day either. I saw more it’s not your day and don’t claim it than I saw women actually claiming it. I saw more post blaming these single mothers for their child’s father being deadbeat. As a child of a deadbeat father who continues to have children and a mother who gave her ALL for us and did not intentionally choose a jackass for our father. He lied and lied good. By the time she realized he had children it was too late. I know A LOT of women with that story. The reality is that sometimes people are just that good at showing their representatives. I mean REALLY GOOD!!! No they are not fathers. Yes they are doing it own their own. No they don’t deserve to be disrespected by comments such as the ones that I saw yesterday.

So here’s my thinking….on Father’s Day rather than reprimanding women for trying to take the day, reprimand the men who fail their children and put their children’s mothers in the single parent predicament. On Mother’s Day, the same is admonishment is fair. Quiet as it is kept, there are A LOT of father’s who share a child with a deadbeat mom. These women are not absolved from their failure. Nor are mothers who allow their bitterness over a dissolved relationship to get in the way of their child’s father from being involved. Both are despicable and deserve to be called out.  How about the same men who admonish that women need not be acknowledged on Father’s Day applaud the women who in spite of relationship statuses go above and beyond to ensure that their child has a relationship with them. How about those men admonish the fathers who were invited to be a part of their children’s lives but continuously broke their heart by not showing up.

This Father’s Day, I can count on one hand the amount of men who actually called out other men who fail their children. Who continue to fail their children. Who upon their death would’ve failed their children. Next Father’s Days and Mother’s Day let’s do better. Let’s place blame where blame belongs. Let’s do our part and speak out what really needs to be changed. Let’s continue to champion good parents on these days and speak-out against all those who sully title.

Words of wisdom: If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.

In health,

Maliyka

GROWING-UP FATHERLESS: MY FATHER’S DAY WISH

growingupfatherlessAfter reading my Booskie Carrie Pink’s heartfelt Mother’s Day post, I knew that I had to tell my story. Her story, which you can read here, was absolutely poignant and raw. Every day, I thank God for the woman who birthed me and nurtured me as well as the woman who came along later in life and nurtured me. I am who I am because of God placing these two women in my life. Unfortunately, the father who is very much alive was absent.

This past year, after sacrificing and getting sick; I realized that the man who was gifted with me as a daughter was truly unworthy. Some may want to keep secrets but I realized that it is a secret that I no longer choose to keep. After reading the SBM post on Madame Noire whch can be read here, I realized that by not saying anything we enable these men, including my own father to continue doing what they do: Have babies and fail to take care of them. While I stay far away from the belief that this is what Black men do, there is no question that this is what some males do. As a matter of fact the CDC recently released data that showed that compared to White and Latino fathers, Black fathers are heavily involved in their child’s lives.

Credit: Los Angeles Times

Credit: Los Angeles Times

 

Unfortunately, my father does not fall in the involved category. Rather, my father is as absent as one whose father is deceased. The irony is that he is very much alive and involved in the community at large. Somewhere along the way, he forgot that charity starts at home. My father has been blessed with 14 children. While I will not speak for them, I am confident in saying that the legacy that he will leave behind is not one that any man should be happy leaving behind.

They say sons need their fathers. The truth is…so do daughters. A father is supposed to be that number 1 man in his daughter’s life that shows her what she is worth to a man. He is her protector. Her role model. Her champion. He is her dad.

I am comfortable and confident when I speak for all “Fatherless Children” when I say that I agree that at some point men who fail to handle their responsibility to the gifts that God granted them; children, should not be allowed to have anymore. Some may complain about their rights being taken away but what about those rights of the children they father. What happens to them when they grow up without a father who is right there? At what point will the enabling end? At what point will words of forgiveness stop being bandied about? At what point will those that refuse to acknowledge that they too have been affected by the absence of their father admit the truth if only to themselves?

Here is to the men who from the day they knew they were going to be  fathers and stepped up and continue to stay in the active fatherhood lane. Words cannot express how happy this makes me. Children are a gift and should be cherished. They are not pawns or tools for advancement. If you are that father who realized this and lives the realities of fatherhood daily, I salute you not just on Father’s Day but every day. My wish is for all men who have been gifted realize that their role in a child’s life is everlasting. Here is to the man who has stepped in and became my Daddy. My life, while still scarred from my real father’s absence, is just that much happier. I love you daddy.

daddy and I

While I probably never wish my biological father a Happy Father’s Day, I am fortunate to know some great men. There will always be that little girl inside of me who wants my father to be my father in action and not name only. A part of me knows that no matter how old or successful I become, there will always be a piece of me that will not be whole. Even still, I wish peace and harmony for the man who shared his essence to create me. Maybe one day, he will see just how his action hurt. In the meantime, I will salute those men who continue to be fathers in words and actions and speak out against all those who forgot that God gave them a precious gift when He bestowed a child upon them

 

Words of Wisdom: It is much easier to become a father than to be one. ~Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man, 1994

In Health,

Maliyka

P.S. Stay tuned to the “Growing-up Fatherless” Project that myself and two other fatherless children will be debuting. It’s time to celebrate good fathers, ostracize bad ones and empower the children that suffer from the decsions made.