I see her as we approach the red light and slow to a stop. I don’t know her name, but in my mind I always call her Jane. We’ve never spoken, though I have seen her many, many times through my windshield.
Fingers tight together, she’s waving with one raised hand, like the Queen from her carriage to her loyal subjects. She smiles a huge, toothy ear-to-ear smile that makes her eyes squint just a little and gives off a feeling like she is on top of the world. Arms, face, and hands are deeply tanned from the sun, and the wind flutters her billowy pants and tied-back mousy hair. In her non-waving hand she holds a cardboard sign where in crude black letters it says:
“Desperate and Alone. Please help.”
Now that Mother’s Day has come and gone, the slow trickle of dad-stuff is about to begin, as advertisers and marketers and the media in all its forms start looking for ways to move the focus onto dads. (At least for a couple of weeks.)
Sadly, this usually means a whole lot of (perhaps) well-meaning discussion about dads that still present one of the many falsehoods, fabrications, and outright lies about fathers that just won’t seem to die. Some of these things are annoyances. Others are actually incredibly harmful to families, to kids, and to the dads themselves.
Since we’re still early in the Father’s Day pre-season, I thought I’d nip these in the bud right away.
I shared this earlier, in a private group online, but the feeling was that it’s too good to not share with everyone. So, here it is (slightly edited). Of course moms totally deserve a day to be celebrated, but it is nice to see that most of these kids clearly have such active and involved dads. It’s really encouraging that they are growing up in a world where they see mom and dad as equally valuable parenting partners. Also, it was pretty cute, and hilarious sitting there watching the teacher’s face.
I was parent-helper this morning at preschool, and with Mother’s Day coming up their “Circle Time” was, of course, themed all about moms, mommies, and mamas. Teacher Annie (not her real name) read a few books about moms, they discussed the upcoming “Muffins with Moms” event, and then the kids were asked to share some of their favorite things that their moms do for them. The idea was to get them thinking about what sort of things they might want to write in the Mother’s Day cards they will make (shhh, it’s a surprise!).
When not a lot of hands shot up, Annie offered a few nice suggestions to get them thinking. Things like: “Who brings you to school? Who makes your lunch? Who reads with you? Who gives you lots of great big hugs?”
“My mom does…” said one kid. “And so does my dad!”
Mother’s Day is, as you may have heard, coming up quickly. My friends at Starbucks and Life of Dad have put out the challenge to see who can wrangle his kids to show their mom just how awesome she is, and prove himself the real #LatteRomeo. And what better way than with breakfast in bed?