Today is Father’s Day, and I know all over social media, people will be posting about their perfect fathers and perfect families. Still, today I’m not talking to them. Today, I’m talking to those of us without that masculine figure. I’m talking to the kids with the fathers that didn’t come home and help with homework…or at all.
See, we don’t all get those amazing fathers. Although today, on all social media platforms, it appears like the world got the “American Dream,” in 2019, about 15.76 million children lived with a single mother, a consistent statistic since 2010. As of 2010, 22% of female-female couples had at least one child, with most recent census information showing much higher projected percentages. This means the landscape of the United States is changing. The necessity of the father figure, while important in the role they fulfill, is not as vital as the love within the home and the guidance of other figures throughout life.
I say all of this to say families don’t have to look the same to be impactful and important! When we look at social media today, for some, it will be hard; this reminder of what we lost or never had. This notion is not lost on me. There is a mourning period where we realize our family structure is different. Our two parents, white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and the dog didn’t appear like we believe they did for all the other families. However, for those of us that are fortunate enough to have a mother that loves us with everything she can muster; a grandmother that would lay down her life; an aunt, uncle, and/or cousin that has always been there whenever the phone call came, we are loved today and every day! It’s not formed in the same packaging, but the gift, if we’re ready to receive it, is just as sweet!
So, today I challenge all of us with unconventional families to celebrate those. Let’s take our moms to dinner. Send our uncles a thoughtful text. Post our cousin and let the world know how meaningful they are to us. Visit our church leader or camp counselor and let them know their impact has changed our lives, and therefore changed the world just a little.
As kids, we’re born into this world naïve and defenseless, and we don’t always get what we deserve. Just remember, it takes a village to raise a child. Although all our puzzle pieces may look different than someone else’s, our picture is just as beautiful and our journey is just as valid. We are here with our village, and no matter what that looks like, it’s worth celebrating on this Parent’s Day…so I hope we all do!