Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads who participate AND to the Moms who have to be BOTH parents (ahem, like myself?)! Fathers are just as important as mothers. My Dad’s is bittersweet this year, as my Mom just passed. I know that he’s hurting, but he’s STILL the best. Dad. Ever!

I hate the fact that I have to be both parents to my own children. I know for a few years this holiday was hard on me, as a single Mom who survived abuse at the hands of my kids’ Dad. Dads, when they are safe and proactive, are SO vital to a child being well-rounded. If there is no biological father in the picture, hopefully there is a supportive adoptive father, stepfather, foster father, uncle, grandfather or even a trusted family friend. If not, please, may I suggest the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization?

Why are fathers so important? Obviously, for sperm donation — that’s a no brainer! However, they offer balance to a child. For boys, they are a fountain of knowledge on how to be a man, an example of how men should conduct themselves, and as a teacher. For girls, they are also a teacher, a protector, and confidant (of whom they can bounce ideas off of, before confronting Mom). They serve as a model for whom the girls marry or form intimate relationships later in life.

I celebrate Fathers’ Day for all the good fathers in my life: my own Dad, my brother, my brother-in-law, my soon-to-be-son-in-law, my boyfriend, and my BF’s son-in-law. They are ALL great examples of fathers! However, I grieve it a bit for my children, because their Dad is so “hands off” and is only a Dad when it suits him — such as birthdays and Christmas. Fathers, to me, are supposed to be in the trenches every day with the Mother, even if they are no longer married, to make sure their children’s lives are successful and productive. They should be a go-to on the hard days to see how they can help make situations better or help the child think through their own solutions. Their father? He’s living his best life: child-free and with a GF who has never been married and buys him large toys, things I guess I couldn’t. I gave him three heirs and a life as a family, which is the part I grieve. I mourn the fact that he’s missing out, by his own choosing, but that he’s missing seeing these wonderful children of ours (and grandchild) grow up and form whom they are going to be in this world. He may not miss that, however, until he’s old and needs care and then discovers that they won’t care for him because he would never take charge and care for them when they needed him most

If you are suffering the loss of a Father, this day, I send love and light. Please, celebrate their life and that they blessed you with immeasurable knowledge and love!