You all know how I feel about Mondays. I’ve written about it once before in my Monday Blues. It’s the day of the week that I choose not to do anything and just laze around and even let Little Em do whatever she feels like.
Well, yesterday was not to be one of those lazy Monday mornings because my daughter had a ‘playdate’ with our neighbour’s daughter who is exactly a year older than her – three. Now what could two little girls with angelic faces do around the house that could disrupt your peace of mind and lead you to stress eat all the chips and cheese you could get your hands on..well as I found out the hard way – A LOT!
So in between googling ‘how to get acrylic paint off carpets’, scrubbing the floors, washing paint off the kids hands and feet (since they decided their bodies were better canvases than the papers I gave them to paint on) and sending them off to play outside and then running around the apartment complex in circles searching for where the girls had disappeared (only to discover they had gone knocking at another little girls house) -when I had very clearly directed them to play where I could see them from my balcony – I could get very little done yesterday.
Any who, towards evening, we had kind of settled back in the house and the girls decided to play with blocks. At this point Ems friend Cam asked me a very interesting question – ‘Em’s mom, why do we have dads?’
Cams father and mother are divorced since he was an alcoholic and was physically abusive towards her mother and so Cam and her brother currently live with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.
I was not sure what to tell the little girl as I have never been asked philosophical questions of this caliber by the two year old I have at home and the woman of a few words that I am struggled for a couple of minutes to come up with the right words to frame in a sentence so that I do not hurt anybody’s sentiments. So in the end I came up with the very diplomatic- ‘You have dads to love you and care for you’..and I thought the discussion would end there but it continued on –
Cam: ‘But I don’t have a dad’
Me: ‘Sure you do, doesn’t W (the boyfriend) love and care for you?
Me: ‘Then W is your dad now’
Cam: ‘But J’s my dad’
Me: ‘The person who loves you and takes care of you right now is your dad’
Cam: ‘My mum loves and cares for me’
Me: ‘Oh thats nice, so shes like your mum and dad now then’
The conversation ended there and from the smile on her face I gathered she seemed pretty happy with the fact that her mother could be both her mum and her dad at the same time.
So why do we have dads? its obvious that a sperm donor does not a father make. Like they say a good mother is loving, patient, empathetic, strong, responsive, giving and selfless, the more I thought about it the same applies to a good father as well.
Traditional, old school dads who would sit in his man chair in his man cave, talk in grunts, maybe give the sons a couple of pointers when it came to sports and his primary (and in some cases only) ‘job’ as father was to provide for the family financially. With changes in gender roles fatherhood has to a large extend evolved too.
With the testosterone surge new fathers feel when they hold their babies in their arms for the very first time happens, the trickling in or rush of ‘paternal love’. And that brand of strong, protective, never malicious ( however insidious it may seem at times picture father throwing baby in the air and catching it),fun, crazy, reliable and unconditional love which is open and accepting of children no matter what silly mistakes they make as part of their growing pains is the kind of love only a father can give. Long sentence…I know!
So what do you think would’ve been a better answer to Cam’s question?
Have a great week guys!