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- Lorato Khobetsi
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When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had this nagging feeling that I was forgetting something only to realise when I logged into my facebook page that it was Father’s Day.
In the past, I would go through my phonebook and tag every man in my Father’s Day message and press the send button but this year, it was different. To receive well wishes from me on that day, you had to deserve it. So just to be fair, before I wished any man who had a child a Happy Father’s Day, I asked myself, what is a father?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a father is a man in relation to his child or children, a man who provides care and protection. On a more religious tone, he is the first person of the Trinity, he is the ultimate Godhead. In the church he is a priest depicted as a Father in relation to the people in his congregation.
I realised that the title “father” can mean many different things or be many persons. So I took my inspiration from the old saying “any man can be a dad but it takes a special man to be a father”.
Just because a man has children does not make him a father. A father is a very special person, it is someone who supports his children emotionally, financially and psychologically. It is someone who cares for his children, it is someone who loves his children unconditionally, and it is someone who puts his children’s needs before everything or everyone else.
A father is that man who patiently teaches his children (be they his own blood or not) the skills and values to become strong and intelligent adults.
That morning I made a list of different types of dads I know and to my surprise I came up with a few good examples. We have the absent dad also known as the sperm donor, the occasional dad, the maintenance dad, the partner dad, the step dad, the show-off dad, the accidental dad, and finally the Facebook dad. These are the men who do not provide the basics for their children, they only take them for a ride, they buy sweets or ice cream and they take a million pictures with them to upload on Facebook so as to impress others. Sadly, there is also the jail bird dad.
I have over 100 contacts in my phonebook and after my introspection , I realised only 30 male contacts of mine deserved a special Father’s Day message or deserve to be called fathers. So I decided to dedicate this year’s Father’s Day to all the single women out there who have been both mothers and fathers to their children.
After my dad passed away, my unemployed mother took on the role of both parents to four children of different ages. She supported us and shaped us into the people we are today. Throughout my life I have met a lot of women like my mother, single women who deserve to be honoured for playing the father role in the lives of their children. Happy belated Father’s Day to all the women who have been both a mother and father to their children. Salute!!!
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