On my wedding day, my mother was the one who walked down the aisle with me. For years I would call my mother and wish her the best on Father’s Day because I realized that since I was ten years old, she has been both mother and father to me… but apparently it’s not politically correct to do that anymore.
I listened to the radio where counselors said that mothers can’t take the place of fathers. I went to church and was told that my mother is my mother and she can’t be anything else. I perused Facebook and found some single mothers up in arms about being wished a happy Father’s Day – because, make no mistake – they are mothers and they are doing it by themselves.
Maybe those of us who make the calls to our mothers in May and again in June are seen as trying to muscle in on the father’s special day and some people are having none of it! I don’t really think that the men who aren’t there are that offended when we acknowledge the women who raise children without them. After all, they aren’t there to do it.
Not every absentee father is absent of his own accord. Some, like mine had no choice in the matter, so it’s heartwarming to know that a lot of people are still holding their places. But if they’re not coming back, what’s wrong with recognizing the women who try to straddle two seats?
Nobody’s denying that fathers are the ideal persons to teach a boy about sports and sportsmanship, about being resilient, about being protective, and about how to treat a girl. Everybody agrees that fathers provide the best example to girls of working to provide for a family, of helping yourself when necessary, of expecting only the best and accepting nothing less.
That’s why uncles, godfathers, cousins and grandfathers will sometimes step into the breach. But it was my mother who showed me that sometimes it is necessary to take on a masculine role if there’s no one around to shoulder it.
That’s why she’ll always be remembered on those two special days – because she was the one who did the work.