Happy Father’s Day to all the men who are a constant loving presence in the lives of their children.
And today I honor my father, Herman Brown, who passed in 2000, who gifted me with a serious resting-face, a hearty laugh, an affectionate nature and a great sense of humor, especially for the mischievous. He was the prominent and fundamental male presence in my life for which I gage and judge all other men. And because of his impact in my life, I would like to weigh in on the controversy of single mother’s also being honored on this day.
My father and mother were married for 20 years and divorced when I was 14. He moved out and was never more than a phone call away or a 20 minute drive. He always stayed active in my and my siblings lives. Even with this, his absence was missed. ‘He’ the person was missed, but also, his input in our daily household as the dominate male figure in our lives.
When a parent is absent from their child’s life there’s no replacement for that loss. As a single mother you can only weather the loss and mitigate the gaping absence. But in doing so—trying to fill the void—you are handicapped by your own uniqueness. You provide more, love more, show more attention to your child, which are all good things, but you do all this “more” distinctly as a mother. You are constrained by your singularness of view, perception and behavior. You can only be more mother to your child but never a father.
We are all, both male and female energies. All children need to be exposed to both to feel a sense of balance, or they will always be in search of that missing side of themselves. No matter how hard you work single-mothers you can’t replace the unique contribution of fathers, and neither can hardworking single-fathers replace mothers. They both hold a distinct and equal place of value to nurture children to their highest growth and well-being.
Many will honor their mothers on this day believing their mom did the job of 2 parents. She didn’t. She may have done the job of 2 people—but both were women. An although I feel single-mothers and single-parents alike, should get special recognition for their efforts–not today. Single-mothers, if you want an extra day of recognition, take over Arbor Day. Nobody would care. Arbor Day would be a great fit. The tree symbolizes and epitomizes the single-parent ethic: “strength and stay puttiness” and, if you’re Adrian Peterson—switches.
But, GIVE FATHERS THEIR DAY! Your encroachment on Father’s Day invalidates the very special and distinct value a father’s presence and impact has own a child’s life.
So single-mothers, (single-parents) see you on Arbor Day!