Fatherlessness Overrated

Check out this post and consider why will really need a multimillion dollar initiative for fatherhood.

“Papa Don’t Preach!”

By Stacey Patton

“We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.”

–President Barack Obama

I grew up without my father. I know his name: Steve. And I’ve seen three photographs of him standing proudly next to three of his grown sons that he had with two other women. When I was born he was married to another woman living across town with their twin boys. My older sister was four. When his wife discovered he had been cheating on her with my mother (who didn’t know he was married with kids), she divorced him. Steve packed up, became a rolling stone, went south, married again, and had another son. His current wife knew about his twin boys but nothing of the two daughters he left behind in the early eighties.

I was 27 the first time I had a phone conversation with Steve. Today, he lives somewhere in Franklin County, Virginia, has a slow countrified drawl, and only remembers that I liked red grapes as a toddler. Getting Steve to talk about himself, his feelings or about the past was like pulling teeth. When I finally asked where he’d been for nearly three decades, he was full of excuses, blaming my mother and other women in the family for why he couldn’t man up and take care of his responsibilities...

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