Why thank you, Laiya.
Well, I apologize for getting personal in advance, and this post seems a little strange after I ripped Beav for even mentioning family values, but here goes...
I've mentioned on this board that I'm going through a divorce. Never easy, but when there's a child involved, it's infinitely harder.
I have been luckier than I deserve. My ex will never be mistaken for a genius, but when it comes to family, she gets it. We haven't used our son to hurt each other. She understands not only how much my son needs me, but how much I need him.
As of this week, she is renting the condo next to mine. Awkward, yes, but good.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the courts are bent in favor of mothers. Yes, some fathers are shits who don't want or deserve to get custody, but often it doesn't matter which parent is better suited to raise a child. Unless the woman is a junkie, in prison or completely out of the picture, it is assumed that she will get custody. Fathers are routinely treated as superfluous and there is no universal cry of outrage. In some cases, women have moved to a different state, not given their ex husband their new address, essentially denying him visitation, while still collecting child support. Heinous, and devastating to both the father and child.
I know how lucky I am to be able to see my son virtually every day.
On the flip side, my parents divorced when I was an adolescent. I had a falling out with my father.
An older and wiser friend has a saying about teenage boys: "When I was in high school, my dad was a real idiot. I was amazed how much smarter dad got by the time I went to college."
It's true for me, and I'm glad I didn't wait too long to reconcile with my father. Tomorrow (today now) I'm taking my son and spending the day with my father...3 generations of us...scary
Fathers are expected to be emotional rocks. They sacrifice for us, they do things they may not want to just to spend time with us, they protect their daughters, and teach their sons to be men. All the while, society constantly sends them the message that they are 2nd best, will never be as good as mom, and are more of a luxury than a necessity for childrearing.
Father's day comes once a year, but being a father never stops as long as you're alive. For those of us whose fathers are still alive, let him know you appreciate him. You'll miss him when he's gone, and even an emotional rock needs the love of his kids.
(Yeah, EB, I'm sorry I got upset about the family values thing. The phrase just rubs me the wrong way, especially when I fear people trying to legislate morality)