By: Curtis Morton
The way I see it, being a father is a critical , blessed and grave responsibility.
Sunday 21st June will be celebrated as father s’ day around the world. On that day, hopefully, sons and daughters the world over, will take time out to ‘big up’ and pamper their dads…even if they were previously totally ignored for the weeks and months before that.
As men, we often lament that women seem to get first priority. There is a bigger song and dance about MOTHERS’ DAY and I believe for good reason because, let’s face it guys, too many men traditionally, have not generally done a good job at caring for their children.
I look at some of the many young fathers within our society and I note the sense of pride they exude as they walk around with their child or children at the Inter primary sports meet, or some other big event but next news you are hearing, some of them are ending up in court for not supporting their children!
That makes absolutely no sense.
I can also recall, one obviously proud dad, shouting out at the top of his lungs, at a concert, when his son was really wooing the audience with a sterling performance: ‘That’s ma boy!’
Only to hear a lady mutter under her breath: ‘And he don’t even a support the child!’
Well I newa!
At a particular sports meet one day, I also witnessed a most disgusting act performed by a young father.
He had his son with him, showing him of to his friends and drinking a carib beer, all the while.
Suddenly he paused long enough to call the attention of his friends to the fact that he was going to give the little boy a sip of his beer.
He did offer the child and the child drank some of it and the father beamed with a sense of accomplishment.
At the time I wondered if there was no aspect of law that could have been used to immediately have him arrested and placed in the lock down for at least six years!
My Dad who passed away this year, was a good man. He worked hard and he taught us…yeah maybe even at times, forced us to do the same.
He was a strict disciplinarian, yet accommodating to all of his children.
I recall that during an era when things were really bad at home in Nevis, he migrated to the USA and sought employment there. He did not like it there and eventually returned home after several months.
However, in the interim, even though he did not have a full time job, he found time to send home a barrel of goodies on a regular basis.
That barrel was much anticipated. We all gathered in the living room, as my mom officially supervised its opening.
It was a long wait, as each one of us waited impatiently to see what was sent. My dad made sure that each gift was identified for each specific child and then there were the stuff for my Mom and the foodstuff etc.
Much needed foodstuff I may add.
My dad also found time to play cricket in the yard with us, even though the ICC’s umpires would have definitely called him up because of his very unorthodox bowling style.
In other words, there were days that we laughed together and there were days that he made us cry, but that was mostly our own fault.
Significantly though, he did what a lot of dads are failing to do nowadays: He spent quality time with us.
Even at nights, we looked forward to sitting in the living room and sharing our daily experiences, listening to the radio together (those days, TVS were not made yet)!
So as we approach the significant joyous day on Sunday 21st June, let it not just be about what you will get from your children as a Dad but a time of reflection on how you can positively impact their lives a little more.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?