Father's day is here!
For those celebrating, we hope that despite everything going on, you still found a way to show your dad's that you care.
Originally, we were going to use this post to talk about ways to show dad's that they're appreciated, but after a conversation with a friend this week, we decided to forgo the standard "5 last-minute gifts to get your dad," post and take a different approach.
During this conversation, this friend brought up an interesting point -- the fact that many people believe the absence of a father is somehow a setback in life. It's this idea that not having or knowing your biological dad creates such a big void that a child (especially males) without a "father" would be deficient in some sense.
A lot of us believe a 2 parent home is "the better option" because it allows children to grow up with stability that single-parent homes (usually single mothers) just can't provide. Socially, we yearn for fathers to be in the picture (if they're not) or half-kill ourselves trying to do all we can to ensure that children grow up without "lacking" whatever it is we think 2 parent homes provide.
For whatever reason, we believe that the presence of "dad" automatically makes things okay - and that as long as the kids have their dad around, they'll magically end up turning out great.
Because of this, a lot of us dismiss the reality that there are other totally capable male figures like uncles, brothers, coaches, grandparents, etc that can fill in the gap. These men can function in these roles and positively influence the lives of kids! They can teach them about life, and help them to maneuver the one they're given.
There's this illusion that having a dad or father figure means that he's married to mom OR physically in the home. But the truth is, just because someone is there physically, doesn't mean they're actually present. They can be completely absent...while being right in front of your face -- which can ultimately cause more damage.
The thing is, it's wonderful to have a great dad in the home -- but if a kid doesn't...that's okay too!
It's all about perspective...
They don't have to feel like they missed out on something or there's a void in their life that's causing them to be less than the people they're meant to be just because their father isn't around.
If we choose to acknowledge the good people --- the other "father" figures in their lives... that void won't really be a thing.
In the end, while a father is biological, a dad is a whole lot more nuanced than that. They're the people that give a child love, teach them, and want the best for their futures.
The things we say about fathers and notions we perpetuate have a huge impact on how these little humans view the world. The things they hear help shape the way they think -- so constantly focusing on the lack of a father's presence further develops the void instead of healing it.
Truthfully, any male can fill the voids we look to fathers for -- teachers, friends parents, community leaders...
and for the spiritually based, God, to show us the paternal love we all desperately search for.
So to every family out there, even if there isn't a biological father figure in the dynamic... know that there is someone out there that can and is willing to do what any dad can! And to all the dad's and non-dad's out there making a positive impact on a kid's life...
Thanks for being so amazing!!!