Father’s day column

This is a hilarious column about how Dad’s get the shaft compared to Mom’s and mother’s day.

While the column is entirely light hearted and not intended to be any treatise on being a good father, the comments on the article at SFGate.com got surprisingly nasty.  Comments about how “too bad you’re kids suck” or whining from fathers about what they did or didn’t get that just isn’t funny.  But one comment struck me as true, although way too negative for such a light-hearted column:

Dads are for giving not getting… I don’t need from the kids I give to the kids. Someday they’ll know this and appreciate it. Hallmark moments are for the ladies…

While I think mothers also get great joy in giving to their children and the “Hallmark moment” statement is over the top, I think it is very different for fathers than mothers.  For mothers, I think providing has a much more emotional aspect to it and a more protective manifestation.  For fathers, providing is much more material and concrete.  Men really do like to provide for the family.  I’ve found it to be true myself.  In fact, it’s surprised me just how important it is to me to be able to provide for my family and the offense I take when I find myself unable to provide or I get criticism of what I provide.  Said another way, I take great pride in it.

Before my favorite blog critics jump in and call me sexist, I’m not at all saying that a woman isn’t capable of materially providing for a family.  Nor am I saying that it is wrong for a woman to work or for her to make more than her husband.  Nor am I saying that it is intrinsically wrong for a man to stay home and take care of the kids.

What I am saying is that I think men are “wired” in such a way that they take great pleasure in providing both the material and moral foundation for their family.  When I think of what I most appreciate about my dad and what I goal for in being a dad it always comes back to the lessons I learned from him (moral foundation) and the sacrifices he made to make sure that I always had a roof over my head (material foundation) until I graduated from college, debt free I might add.  Those foundations made me into the man and father I am and I pray that I can continue good a father and husband for the rest of my days.

What do I want for father’s day?  I don’t want a gift or a bad golfer card (an aspect of the column I found particuarly funny), I want the satisfaction of watching my children play freely in the backyard knowing they are safe and provided for, knowing that I gave that to them.

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