Father’s Day has been somewhat of a struggle for me personally since my father died. I was only 12 when he died, but even 16 years later, I still have a rough time on this holiday. Things have gotten better since I married and started fostering and looking to adopt children, after all, now I can make the day about my husband and celebrating the fact that he is a truly great father-figure, but I still have bittersweet moments when I think about how much I miss my dad.
What I have realized this year though is that I am joined by millions of other people who also struggle with the emotional ramifications of this day. Many of my friends also have fathers who have passed away, and we often talk about how much we miss our dads when Father’s Day rolls around. I also have friends who had complicated relationships with their father, or may have never known their father at all.
Too many kids today grow up without fathers, a statistic that is made obvious by the fact that the topic #mydadgetsnocallbecause has been trending on Twitter all day today. I read through some of these tweets, and found everything from kids who don’t even know who their dad is, to kids who call their father a ‘deadbeat’ or kids who can only visit or talk to their dads in prison. Many also had the attitude of apathy. After all, if their dads never gave a crap about them, why should they reach out to their old man?
All of these negative comments make me very sad, but I know that it is reality to many kids today. Doing foster care has definitely shown me a side to family life that I wish didn’t exist. Some parents really don’t deserve the title at all.
So what is my point? If you have a good dad and he is still around, MAKE SURE that you take the time to show your appreciation. Be grateful for your good fortune. If your father was a great dad but has passed on like mine has, remember the good memories and know that it is ok to be sad or even shed a few tears. And if your dad was nonexistent, abusive or totally useless, know that you are not alone. Use this opportunity to appreciate those who have been there for you and to make sure you are on the track to becoming a worthwhile parent yourself (whether you already have kids or not). Even if your family has been filled with deadbeat parents for generations, YOU can break that nasty cycle!