This is a rebuttal to an article of the same title written by Jeff Pearlman for CNN this week. I’ve seen it re-posted a lot this week, some people have even gone so far as to describe it as “gorgeous.”
Kids grow. Age 1 turns to age 3, which turns to age 7, which turns to 15 and 18 and 21, all in the blink of an eye. If you’re there, as I am, it flies. If you’re not there — if you’re almost never there — it barely exists at all. Which is why I just can’t stomach those millions of dads who view their days at home as recovery from work, who’d rather rest than engage, who have no problem with passing the tykes off for more alone time with mom and who, literally, moan to their wives, “You have no idea how hard I work.”
On this weekend to celebrate all that Dads do in our lives, one of our own has ascended his personal Olympus to shout down from the mount and crucify the rest of us.
Jeff is a stay at home author who gets to be with his kids for breakfast instead of inhaling something from a drive thru. He gets to make lunch for his children instead of grabbing it from a greasy food cart and then eating at his desk. He gets to hug them when they come home from school instead of hoping he can fight the traffic jam to get home on time to at least kiss them good night.
What Jeff has done with this piece is not persecute fathers, he’s railed against every working parent in the world. Every person who needs to leave the house to make a dollar. In many families in our society, it’s not just Dad that’s not around for breakfast, lunch and after school – it’s Mom too. In many families, both parents need to work to be able to afford the basics and luxuries of life in 2011.
Sure, there are many parents who are selfish. I have sat at swimming pools and watched the Nanny take the kids for a swim while parents wave from the deck in between pecks at their blackberry. I have written critical pieces of parents, urging us to not be “That Dad,” by turning off our devices and focussing on our kids for few minutes. When a four year old says “do you need to check your Twitter?” when he sees you leave a room with your phone, you know you’re doing it wrong. #guilty
We are a selfish lot, this generation of parents. So I agree we ALL need reminders that our kids come first, but not on Father’s Day Weekend, and not on Mother’s Day Weekend.