Friday, January 23, 2009

Beautiful Defeats Hellish

How to define fatherhood? The experience can be simple and beautiful and it can be complex and hellish.

To support the C&H side we can look to attorney Tommy De Seno and his essay on how prior to birth, biological fathers should be able to go before a judge to receive a legal (not biological) abortion. The father's goal is to tie or separate themselves to/from their child in a manner completely opposite to that of the biological mother. There is also the pleading of incarcerated "deadbeat dad" Michael Smith, who — while saying nothing of why he hasn't paid his child support — does make the point that he can't visit or non-monetarily support his kids while, "second- and third-offense drunken drivers get as little as five days in jail, and second-offense thieves get as little as five days in jail...." And, as if another story was needed to support the dark side web of what fatherhood can or should mean, the Kansas legislature is deciding what to do about a law that makes three children of a soldier receive less than a full share of his money because the ex-wife of their father had a child with another man, while married to their dad.

It would be enough to give up all hope for fatherhood, except there is the other side as well. The glory of the good can be heard in the talk of father Ed Miller Jr. and son EJ. among a discussion filled with love is the father's advice to fathers that they, "Try to remember every single minute of that time when your son or your daughter thinks that Daddy is the greatest thing in the world — when you walk in the door, that the sun is shining because Daddy walks in."

Those moments don't last long enough, but they are strong enough to overwhelm the darkness.

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