If, like me, you started today with a sinking feeling and a need to hide away under your duvet, chances are it’s not a very happy father’s day for you. There may be those who have been recently bereaved. This piece is not for them. This is not about the loving, doting, happy to provide and protect father; the one who read you a bedtime story and tucked you up in bed, waking to drive you to school the next day. It’s not even about the strict dad, who scared your first boyfriend off because he would never be good enough for his little girl. It’s about the fathers who are only dads through DNA.
In the very beginning, a man deposited an amount of sperm in a woman’s body. He didn’t really love her, just felt like he owned her and could use her if he damn well pleased; being a man an’ all, with all the privilege that comes with it. Woman fell pregnant and man accused her of entrapment. Many women feel quite sad about this. Man seems all too happy to have sex with her but the second she falls pregnant, it’s all about her manipulative ways to snare a man. Surely man needs to be more careful about where he sticks it? Especially as precious new life may be the result. How irresponsible. Woman thinks it’d be a better world if people would only have sex with people they wouldn’t in fact mind having children with.
Woman and man have been raising the kids for a while now. He still maintains he did not want anything to do with her but miraculously causes another coupla babies to be born. I say man too, but really this is not true. Man lives his life whilst woman’s children are now her life. He drinks, he womanises, leaves evidence of his activities lying around for the children to see. Woman gains a shed load of weight. She stops washing. She loses the words to express herself. Man calls her a filthy disgusting pig and says it’s no wonder he is not attracted to her. Woman vows she does not care after the last time he punched her in the mouth and it bled.
The children are growing. They don’t like the way their father treats their mother. When he hits her, it causes a pain in their hearts, like he’s hitting them. When he laughs at her, they feel like crying because of the intense hurt. They resent the way he thinks he can withhold them from their mother. When she musters a little strength to say “no”, he tells her he will take her children away and kick her out on the street. The children plead with their mother to do as he says. They’re scared. When they disagree with him, he punches them too. Once, he made them choose the weapon from which they’d meet their end, if they carried on being so insolent. Rifle or Machete? Man keeps them under his bed. The children have no doubt he would do this, man likes to tell the story of another man who killed his entire family because the daughter had a boyfriend.
The children turn into teenagers and soon they start forming protective circles around their mum, dad can’t get at her when they’re in the way. But he still does and laughs as he throws his tweenie children off her and away, like bowling balls crashing into sofas and beds. The eldest vows she will leave and one day, everyone will know the truth. That some men use the word dad to use privileges they have no right to. That some dads don’t care for their children but see them as property. The ones who will drag their broods through court just to slander and tear up what remains of mum’s heart.
Mum left him you see, in the end. When the children were old enough, they carried her away. The truth of it all, in the end, is that the best a father can do for his children is to love their mother. He might not agree with what she does, he might not even like her character very much. But he loves the mother of his children because she gave him their precious babies. Those babies can tell when it is not genuine and when their mother is sad. And being that mother is the centre of their universe; dad could try and understand this. And be a righteous father.
Happy Father’s Day to decent dads the world over. You play an important role.
Be good to the mother of your children.