Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day (from a daddy's girl twice-over)

Cheers to all fathers, stepfather, grandfathers, great grandfathers, godfathers and father figures!

I'm blessed to be a daddy's girl twice-over. Credit great relationships with both my Dad--a Korean War veteran who served in the Marines and aircraft electrician who installed the telephone system in JFK's Air Force One as well as bottle warmers for Jackie's tots--and my stepfather--a Naval Academy graduate and law firm partner. I also cherish the other strong, positive males who significantly shaped the people my brother, Bob, and I have become. There's no question those influences contributed to Bob's being a great dad in his own right.

Every child deserves a positive father figure. Whether there is a great dad at home or not, clergymen, educators, coaches and relatives can often make excellent mentors and role models. Consequently, I urge boys and girls to affiliate themselves with their local house of worship, Boys & Girls Club and other organizations that support and mentor youth. A few other examples include: the YMCA, YWCA, Boys Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, National Brotherhood of Skiers. Naturally, parents or guardians should investigate and give approval for groups their children join and people with whom they spend time. And as we learned from some parents who testified in the Michael Jackson cases--those who they let their kids sleep at Neverland despite the abuse they claimed occured there--responsible adults outside of the home sometimes nurture kids more than parents do.

Some favorite pop culture media that celebrate fathers include:
  • "Daddy's Little Girl" (song by the Mills Brothers)
  • "Fatherhood" (Nickolodeon show produced by Bill Cosby)
  • "Boyz in the Hood" and "Grand Canyon" (movies that painfully contrast the outcomes for boys in urban L.A. who have strong father figures and those who don't)

Feel free to share your Father's Day stories and media citations.