In about two weeks we’ll celebrate Father’s Day. Personally, I’ve got a pretty awesome dad. I grew up in a very “odd” house. Just a quick synopsis, my parents were married, divorced, married and are now divorced again. Despite all of that, my father has always had a big impact on my life and been there when I needed him. Being as though, there were large amounts of time when my parents were separated and pretty much by the nature of Black families these days, I spent most of my upbringing with my mother’s side of the family. A quick synopsis, that’s all women; my grandmother, great aunt, two aunts and mother. You can imagine what most holidays were like… but the one that stood out the most was Father’s Day. We simply never celebrated it. My aunts were married, but there husbands weren’t around much. We definitely celebrated Mother’s Day — boy, did we celebrate the hell out of that day. But Father’s Day… was always a big thud.
That got me thinking… are we overlooking Father’s Day? Does it have the same appeal as Mother’s Day? And is that fair for Fathers who do a great job? I’m not sure. I wrote this piece over at MadameNoire this week. This is an excerpt, and the full article can be read over there by clicking here.
When you think about Mother’s Day and how celebrated the holiday is by all, is anything missing?
Next weekend, we’ll celebrate Father’s Day. We’ll spend a day among family and fathers and thank them for the gift of life and their contributions to our families (Or lack thereof…). We will gather around the dinner table and dad will get the big piece of chicken; the same one that he typically gets every Sunday at dinner. However, this piece of chicken will be “special.”
After dinner, we will go in the living room and let dad have the remote to watch what he would like to watch tonight. The remote that goes to the television that he probably bought, as he sits in the chair he likely bought too. He will open cards and share that moment with his children and maybe his children’s children.
Father’s Day is a point of reflection. While the holiday is much different in the amount of attention given to Mother’s Day, it’s because fathers are celebrated differently. Mothers are celebrated because of their gifts to us that they didn’t have to do. However, the best fathers are those who can make their contributions, those things they ought do, seamless.
There are those fathers who love, care, and provide for their children in a proud way, but many are silent givers. It’s only in reflection that we are able to see their contributions. We hope those reflections don’t happen postmortem; those are the worst. But somehow, we seem to miss those points in each of our perennial celebrations.
Ironically, as we merge the responsibilities of parenthood, due to need or modernization but most likely out of need, mothers are celebrated on Father’s Day. Your timeline will be filled with tweets, Facebook filled with status updates and pictures posted on Instagram of mothers who stood in the place of missing fathers. Let me be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s several mothers who did the job of two when there was only one around. And I applaud them.
But that is what’s missing from Mother’s Day — the same celebration that is given for mothers on Father’s Day, isn’t given to those single fathers on Mother’s Day.
Read the remainder of the article here.