I watching two DRASTICALLY different programs this weekend and maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill here, but I was so taken back by the drastic difference in how it was represented parenting, that I just though it was worthy of comment. Yeah, maybe I’m reading in to this, but aren’t most blogs?
The first thing I watched was the movie Courageous. What can I say? It was moving. It was about fatherhood at its very core and did NOT sugarcoat it. It dealt with issues that far too many fathers have faced: angry teens, single parenting, even death (I won’t throw spoilers). The whole film was driving home what you and I already know: Dads are critical and important.
The second program was the Cat in the Hat. Yes, THAT Cat in the Hat. PBS. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh great, here we go.”, but hear me out. Nick and Sally start off on an adventure with a 6 ½ foot tabby cat, with the only reference to the parents of “Mom, can we go to ________ with a 6 ½ foot tabby cat ________” Mom’s response, “Sure.” Before we get to the obvious, I’ll suspend belief about the cartoonish nature of the show, but why doesn’t the mom care? Where is the dad? A kid watching this thinks, “Hey, Dads aren’t there on TV, so I shouldn’t be upset if mine isn’t either.”
So, two very different representations of fatherhood. Two very different views. Yes, one was specifically designed to promote fatherhood and one is designed to teach kids about the world around them. But shouldn’t their dad be a part of the world around them? Should we not have to have a fatherhood movie being the only thing that shows kids that dads want to be involved?
A better question: does your daughter know you’re involved? Does she get excited when she hears that you’re around? Does she involve you with her world?
Look, media wants to downplay dads. Especially the important of dads of daughters. But I know better. Our daughters know better. They have dads that are around. They have dads that are involved. That’s why no matter what the media shows, dads are getting involved and it should be celebrated. If no one else will, I’ll do it.
Thanks for being a dad…