Last Sunday was Father’s Day in many countries (not in Italy though) and reading a few blogs I discovered the essay President Obama wrote on the occasion for Parade magazine.
The title, “We need fathers to step up“, is very powerful and so is the whole essay, simply to the point — as the President has got us used to. He grew up without a father and still managed to be elected to the most important position in the world, so this means that everything is possible in spite of your upbringing.
Still he writes that fathers have to be present in body, mind and soul for their children. They have to be there through thick and thin and to make an effort of shielding the younger ones from the problems in their own adult life. They have to be role models because parents are the primary teachers in a child’s life.
I think it’s an ode to the role of fathers, and of parents in general irrespective of gender. Obama himself recalls of the pledge he made on the way back from the hospital with a newborn Malia in the backseat, “that I would give her what I never had—that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father. I knew that day that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless she had every opportunity in hers. And I knew I had an obligation, as we all do, to help create those opportunities and leave a better world for her and all our children”.
I think it’s a good read. Unfortunately some fathers still need to remember that the rights and duties of parenthood do not rest with the XX chromosome.