Time well spent with my ‘daddy’s girl’

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The third Sunday in June is a time to celebrate fathers and paternal bonds in America.

Fathers appreciate and deserve a little love, but the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Mother’s Day and Father’s Day spending survey shows more people celebrate Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. fathers. Parents’ retail leaves aren’t in competition, but a combination of guilt and jewelry tends to leave dear old dad in the dust. According to a figure from the NRF, US consumer spending on Mother’s Day was $23.6 billion and Father’s Day was $14.3 billion.

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It’s not mom’s fault she’s getting the most love, when you factor in 2021 US Census Bureau data showing that out of roughly 11 million single-parent families with children under 18, nearly 80% were headed by single mothers. Too many women do double duty. The National Center for Fathering shows that single black women have the highest percentage of fatherless households at 57.6%, 31.2% for Hispanic women and 20.7% for white women.

In 2008, Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee at one of Chicago’s largest black churches, addressed one of the most sensitive topics in the African-American community: were absent fathers responsible for some of the tough issues plaguing African Americans. Obama said, “We need fathers to realize that the responsibility doesn’t stop at conception.” These are harsh words that need to be revisited.

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Being a parent is not an easy task. I became a father at 34. However, I felt prepared for this stage of my life and looked forward to fatherly responsibilities after about eight years of marriage.

Did I know everything there was to know about parenthood? Of course not; parenting is a lot of on-the-job training. Being financially stable allowed me to avoid having a child born into poverty, which can be important for a child’s future success.

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My daughter is an only child and I appreciate her mother and all the women who have dedicated their life experience to her. But she’s an “irreducible” daddy’s girl and I love that. Did I spoil her? Yes, but not with things. We just spent a lot of time together doing stuff.

She was a regular on fishing trips, ball games, barbershop visits, and downtown to the shoe shine store. I wasn’t trying to make her a tomboy. She was just a good choice for me and the guys.

These days, I’m never surprised to get a call from her in the middle of a football game to discuss a dynamic game or a good conversation when Carolina gives Duke a beating in basketball. Being a father for me is a great experience.

It’s about her, not me. I’m not sure some of his friends even knew my first name. From elementary school to medical school and her oncology residency, all of her friends called me Ashlyn’s dad, which was fine with me.

None of us parents are perfect, but if our children believe we love them, they will give us a lot of leeway in parenting. Today is a good day for dads trying to get it right. Let’s celebrate them.

I don’t spend a lot of time with my daughter these days. She’s an adult with her own life in another state, but we still talk and pray every morning on the phone, and for this blessing, I’m thrilled.

Troy Williams is a member of the Fayetteville Observer Community Advisory Board. He is a legal analyst and criminal defense investigator. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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