I believe my presence in my children's life at the top of the list of value I can bring to them. Of course I can provide value in other ways, but when all is said and done, being present in their lives will be the greatest gift I can give. My time, and my intention to their lives is paramount. I know there are plenty of fathers that share this sentiment and know the value of their role in their child's lives. We can't ignore the distinct reality that sometimes fathers find themselves outside the walls of their child's lives. For many reasons a GAP exists today between fathers and their families. Our society unfortunately doesn't always help out, with jobs, illness, bills, and debt, etc.
No one is calling into question the value of a father. The overwhelming stats would sway you far the other way. But are we fostering an environment that makes it conducive for fathers involvement? I think we could agree that our kids are the future. So why is their best interest, and their childhood experience not of paramount attention? I am not speaking to the parents that do their best for their kids. I know you are concerned. My question is posed to those who are in positions of influence. Are we fostering a culture, and an environment that is conducive for our fathers to parent their children? Are we valuing their experience, over their dollar bill? Before I had children, things like this really weren't in the forefront of my mind. We opened a business, and made some choices that probably were less than accommodating for dads. It wasn't that we were actively making choices against fathers. We just had things on our plate that were pressing on our minds. Looking back, I could have done better.
To me, I think of the struggle of the new father. This is something I know very well, and have been in this place the past 4 years. What were the things that were terrifying to me? When did I feel unsure? When did I feel like a failing amateur? I was terrified to take my girls into public. I felt so inadequate. I felt so unprepared even if I had 100 diapers and 40 bags of wipes and a stroller and helmets and elbow pads on both girls. I was overthinking a possible situation that might not even happen. It was all very real in my mind. And it kept me in my safe place, at the house. Sad, I know. But very real. And I don't think that I am the only one.
I know there were dads that have been in this same situation before me, and had similar concerns. But to what end? As a Community let's Pay it Forward. As a community let's put some feet on the ground and make some change. #Squatforchange is a step in this direction. Its by no means the answer to all the concerns of fathers raising their children. But it will start to shift the paradigm. It will start to build an environment that welcomes dads with their kids. It will be well received by dads that are in a fluster.
And it will promote the value of fathers spending time with their children. And for this it is a valuable cause. Children need their fathers. And so do we, as families, as a larger community, and as a culture.
Have you ever been to a large lake in the still of the morning light? The water is pristine like glass, it reflects the sky and the trees. It's truly magical. 1 stone thrown into this body of water will produce a ripple that will cover the whole lake. It takes 1. You don't even need to hit a special spot, just get it in the water. Doesn't seem that hard, now does it? Next time you see a stone, pick it up and think. What could I do today to make this change? How can I move the needle for dads? Eventually we find ourselves faced up to the fog. The next step is unclear, but that doesn't diminish the need to take it. Their is a whole world through that fog. Do you have the courage to seek it out? Someone, somewhere will take this step. Is it you?