By DENENE MILLNER
On the mornings when my husband, Nick, walks the girls to the bus stop, my commute involves me leaning over the side of my bed and picking up my laptop and the remote. I'm lucky like that (for both the husband that shares bus duty, and my ability to make money from home). And while I'm busy writing, I usually have the TV on, with the volume turned down low loud enough for me to tune out irrelevant drivel and hear stuff that I want and need to hear. Recently, I caught site of this video on the The Today Show, and immediately pumped up the volume. A black guy? Wagging his finger and twisting his hips and cheering? About boys?!
Turns out that the video, produced by the Ad Council with the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, is a PSA that encourages fathers to be better dads and get more involved in their children's lives. The inspiration for the piece came, according to the Ad Council, after a survey revealed that more than 79% of Americans feel the most significant family or social problem facing America is the physical absence of the father from the home.
I can dig that that. Lord knows enough of us have survived without/missed/wished for a stable father figure in our homes and suffered because our daddies didn't live up to their promise. But seeing that I'm a glass-is-half-full kinda girl, I took this PSA not as a plea to fathers to step up to the plate, but a heart-warming thank you for the ones doing right by their kids fathers like my Dad, who, without the benefit of a caring, nurturing father to show him how to love a child, turned out to be the most loving, nurturing father this girl could ever have.
And like my husband Nick, who, consistently reminds me I picked well when he makes my girls giggle, and helps them sort out tough math problems, and teaches them Taekwondo moves so that they can fight off any boy who steps to them wrong, and throws blue “footie” pajamas in the cart at Target so his girls will be cuddly warm in their beds.
And the fathers who bring their paychecks home
And kick in toward the mortgage/rent, or pay it outright
And rub the swollen feet and sore backs of the pregnant women they love
And change diapers and warm bottles and bounce babies on their arms, even when they haven't a clue, really, what they're doing, or we stand over their shoulders, ordering them to do it our way
And play horsey and helicopter over and over and over again, their exhausted bodies energized only by the glee in their giggly children's please, Daddy one more time? pleas…
And dole out discipline in healthy doses with great love and the profound knowledge that setting their kids straight will go a long way in helping them become better human beings.
And make their families feel protected, even when deep inside, they're scared crapless
And kiss their wives passionately because they think after all these years, she's still hot
And do it in front of their kids, so that they can know that they've seen true love
And love the Lord
And their children with abandon
We see you.
In the words of the esteemed poet Tupac Shakur, You are appreciated.