411 Focus

I think the developing and finally developed father is a greater work than what happens with motherhood

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

A (Seriously) Happy Dad's Day

Dad, Daddy, Pops, Papa, Father, Da da … These are a few of the words men answer to, depending on the age of the mouth making the noise. Most times… we hope, we hope… the appellation will buy a smile. There is a swelling in the upper part of a man’s body when he hears this sound, especially the first few (even if he was hoping for a girl) times he hears it, and a smile involuntarily lights up his face. This is the way it should be.

My niece and her husband just welcomed their second child, another boy, into the world, and in his dad’s words, he “can’t put him down,” although he was hoping for a girl. (His “store’s closed” disappointment, however, comes nowhere close to their six-year-old’s, who, when queried a few days before, said he wanted two boys and two girls!)

There is nothing like a newborn babe to turn the“average Joe” into a man. It provides a chance for maturation – I don’t mean the chest-thumping, macho, kind of thing that used to cut it for the “full of oneself,” ego-fed guy who considers himself God’s choice gift to the world. No. I mean the one who turns – overnight – into someone different, who exposes a softer side he never knew existed, one unafraid of seeming a “sissy,” the one who, of a sudden, experiences tenderness and responsibility – simultaneously!

Children help men become men. No matter how tough the pre-child man is, the new father is a metamorphosis. Whether son or daughter, the new little one, hardly bigger than its daddy’s gym shoe, ushers in a change the new father never could have imagined! The child makes the man!

Fatherhood is a gift, one that should not be taken lightly. It stretches the man, sort of like “curing ham,” or basting… or seasoning… and he is better than he, or people he’s been around all his life, could ever have imagined! The child makes the man.

We give a lot of attention – well, glory – to others, but I think the developing and finally developed father is a greater work than what happens with motherhood. From the time a girl is given a “doll-baby,” she begins growing into the ritual of motherhood.

Boys, on the other hand, are nurtured in an opposite direction. Called handsome, and “little man” beginning with the first Facebook photo, and then to interaction with other boys, they are hustled toward “manhood.”

What, pray tell, is manhood? Is it “hidden feelings,” moth-balled emotion, iron shields, lest one discover humane tendencies? Is vulnerability a no-no?

What does it mean to be a good father? Does it differ depending on whether the child is a boy or a girl?

I am so happy that the bastardizing term, “baby daddy,” which crept into use even by newscasters, models in the past for speakers, has been kicked to the curb. Could that be a sign of growing regard for a father’s place in his children’s lives? Could it signal that creating a child is to be taken seriously? Could this herald a new attitude toward children and fatherhood?

I certainly hope so, for the title “father” should be a cherished title, and the child that causes the title change should, from the beginning, always and forever, be cherished as a good and perfect gift! Happy Father’s Day to all who make it happen!

Story Posted:06/16/2018

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