Father’s Day predictably brings out diverse sentiments in our post marriage world. For Christian leaders it brings out contempt for husbands and fathers, including the now traditional (if not obligatory) sermon tearing down men in front of their families. Christians who need more contempt for fathers can of course always supplement the Father’s Day sermon by watching Christian movies like Courageous and Mom’s Night Out.
For women who either chose to have children without marrying, or chose to expel their children’s father from the home, Father’s Day brings out attempts to rationalize why children don’t really need fathers anyway. As a sign of the times, Disney’s Babble brings us two pieces of rationalization by women who chose to be single mothers. My Daughter Has a Father, but I Wish She Had a Daddy is standard for the single mother rationalization genre (albeit with an adoption twist).
More unusual is an article by Dresden Shumaker titled My Son Doesn’t Have a Dad, But We Still Celebrate Father’s Day. Shumaker explains that she is a single mom by choice who was raised by a single mom, and refers to her son’s father as his donor.
His donor is not his parent. He knows this, I know this, and some days I need to remind others of this.
She explains that she and her fatherless son celebrate Father’s Day by pretending her son’s cat gave him Father’s Day presents.
In the past, W has been gifted small trinkets on Father’s Day from his stuffed animals. This year, his new kitty will be the gift-giver. W has been an amazing pet parent to his cat and I have been so proud watching him learn and embrace new responsibilities. Being honored on Father’s Day is a small way to remind W of this.
This is a family tradition that her grandmother started doing with Shumaker when she herself grew up without a father. It is also, incredibly, a family tradition that she believes sets the stage for her son to one day celebrate Father’s Day with his own children:
…I can bet those of us raising sons hope that one day they will be fathers with a bookcase full of “Happy Father’s Day” gifts.
This year, my son is one step closer to filling up that shelf.