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About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Personally, I can't get enough of dads: hot dads, short dads, skinny dads, geeky dads. You name it. Mmm, mmm, mmm, how I love me some dads

When I was nine and my brother Ted was two, my parents divorced. I stayed with my father; my brother went with my mother. It was a tremendously sad period in my life (don’t worry, Ted, I won’t tell the commuter parking lot stories), but I learned a lot about my father during the years that I lived with him.

I learned that fathers cry, too. I learned that when I was sick, my father could play nurse just as well as my mother. He’d stay home from work and concoct silly citrus drinks. He understood how to apply a cold compress. He let me watch Three’s Company and Love Boat.

In those years, I learned I could trust my father to take care of me.

Junior’s learning the same lesson about his own father, thankfully under different circumstances. With Chuck home full-time, Junior knows that Chuck can remove slivers and make popsicles and comfort him when he’s having a bad day. Chuck's gotten so adept at parenting, we often have wipe-downs. Junior still prefers barfing on me, but when I look back on this time in my life, I know I will hold dear the trust and bond that have grown between them.

I thought about this a lot on Father’s Day. I thought about what a beautiful gift fathers can be. I’m sorry for those who were taken away from us too soon. And I’m sorry for those who choose not to be part of their children’s lives.

I’m also sorry for the recent article “Are Fathers Necessary?” by Pamela Paul. It’s an insult to fathers everywhere, especially the line “The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution.”

I beg to differ. Bitch.


Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Wow, do you wonder what in the world must have gone wrong in THAT woman's life in order for her to have such a negative views of fathers? I mean, can you imagine what her own father was like? Either he was completely absent, or a total douche. Or, he's a decent guy and she just shit all over him. Whatever it is, I actually feel a little bit sorry for her.

Cris Goode said...

Wow. I am with you. Dads are amazing and anyone who doesn't find them to be a beneficial and critical factor in a child's life is really missing out on something wonderful.

Kate said...

My guess is that she is in a lesbian relationship with children. (NTTAWWT) *on a side note, when I was pregnant with my first child, a lesbian co-worker of mine told me that she would be a better parent than me simply because of her homosexuality.

That article is insulting on so many levels. She is completely out of touch with reality. It's so sad.

Mad Woman said...
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Mad Woman said...
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Mad Woman said...

Stupid blogger comment system..sorry! I was trying to edit my comment. Here, I'll try one last time.

What a cow bag. I didn't have my father in my life from the time I was 9 til I was 21, barring the occasional letter and two short visits. It sucked.

I am SO grateful for the relationship that my children have with their father. It IS essential. It IS making an impact on their lives. It IS moulding them. He can contribute to so many aspects of their lives that I, simply put, cannot.

I have some lesbian friends raising children and they're doing a great job but they would never tell me that they're doing better than my husband. They're just doing it differently.

Momma Chae said...

I must say - I love this post title! :)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I beg to differ too. And I concur. Bitch. Just based on that quote alone. Now I'm going to go read that post and call her a bitch again. Look at this! You've got me swearing! Well! Really!

I'm so glad your dad and your husband were great fathers! I have two great ones in my life too!

Lindy said...

Texan Mama was thinking exactly what I thought - what went wrong i her life. DAMN.

I call bullshit on so many levels.

Pricilla said...

While my relationship with my father was complicated I would not have wanted my life to be one without him in it.

The woman must have serious, serious issues.

How'd the work announcement go?

The Mother said...

My read on the article is a little different (and perhaps less hostile).

The crux of her point was that there is no DATA to support the generally accepted idea that male parents are essential. it did not suggest that we dump them.

I think it's empowering to women to look at the studies and believe that, in a pinch, they CAN do it themselves.

Historically, that attitude that women couldn't do it themselves has been a major player in keeping women from trying, forcing them to stay in terrible, abusive marriages and in systems that did not have theirs, or their childrens' best interests at heart.

I like the relationship I have with my husband, mostly. I think that's pretty much the way most women with long term, good marriages feel. I think his relationship with our kids has been good for them, mostly.

Does that mean I couldn't survive without him? NOT.

Stacie's Madness said...

this is an awesome post.
you were very fortunate to have an active DAD in your life...and so is Junior...

DADS are just as important in a child's life...and it's a SHAME that some people don't see that.

Grand Pooba said...

WTF? Sheesh!

MAK-now said...

Great post! I'm all about dads, too. My dad is amazing and mu hubby is, too. That chick has no clue what she's talking about.


ICLW #125

heather said...

I've always had trouble figuring out the point of fathers too. My parents were married but my dad was mostly uninvolved with us. I don't feel like I missed out on anything. Now my fiance is very involved in his child's life so I get to see the other side.

Mama Badger said...

I concur, Dad's rock. Mine, yours, and our kids.

As for the author, hmmm. She's just been put on my list of people to ignore. I'd like her to meet my two boys and tell them their PB is unnecessary. See what they have to say to Miss Snothead.

Frogs in my formula said...

Mother, I agree with your statement that "'s empowering to women to look at the studies and believe that, in a pinch, they CAN do it themselves" but it saddens me that "empowerment" has to mean letting men know they're worthless.

The Mother said...

I urge you to reread the article. Most of it is data from various studies. The most controversial line in the entire thing is the last:

"The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution. The good news is, we’ve gotten used to him."

This doesn't even begin to imply that dads are worthless. It does summarize the data quite nicely. Objectively (and that's the key word here), having a male parent does not seem to be essential. PERIOD.

Objectivity, however, is often lacking when the media get ahold of these reports.

Suzi said...

Is she gay? Nothing wrong with that, but she obviously has some man issues.

Frogs in my formula said...

Yes, the data proves that having a male parent does not "seem" to be essential. If there's nothing essential about someone's contribution, aren't they, in fact, unnecessary? Worthless might be a little strong, but it's not a far stretch. Certainly that's where the author wanted us to go. It's where my husband went when he read the article.

The last line is the most defamatory; that's what I took offense to. I can't argue data. What I can argue is her stupid quip. As if fathers are like the old family dog. Thank goodness we've gotten used to him. Otherwise we'd have euthanized him ages ago when he started shitting on the floor.

Keely said...

Just because there's no PROOF doesn't mean it isn't TRUE.

And good lord, I read some of the comments on that article. I need a shower now.

SLColman said...

I am so with you on this... My Dad was amazing when I was growing up. He could do everything my Mom could and usually he did it better even. Junior is lucky to have a Dad like Chuck and a Mom like you :)

rachel... said...

I agree with The Mother. This wasn't an opinion piece based on the author's sexuality or history with men. Did any of you actually READ the article? I didn't take that she was implying, implicitly or otherwise, that men are "worthless", just that the notion that TWO parents don't *necessarily* produce happier, better-adjusted kids is false, according to provable, testable data and evidence. Furthermore, she actually mentioned in the article that "quality" parenting had more effect on children than the gender of the parent.

I'm honestly glad you and so many others had awesome dads in your lives and I wouldn't dream to discount their roles. But I found the article to be very reassuring, as someone who, for all intents and purposes, has been single-momming it for the last year with five children.

rachel... said...

Scratch the word "don't". I meant ".. the notion that two parents *necessarily* produce happier, better-adjusted children is false...". Oops.