Big kids still need their dads
I’m Just Sayin’
By SHEILA SMITH
“We’re still just children. We may have lost some of our innocence, but we’re really nothing but little boys and girls.”
from “Off Magazine Street” by Ronald Everett Capps
I do not remember the topic of conversation. All I remember is telling my mother, “You’re an adult, though. It’s not like you need your father.”
We were standing in the laundry room. She turned to me, eyes wide and brimming with tears, and said, “I’m 50 years old, and I still need my daddy every day.”
Her father, who died when I was a baby, had been gone more than 20 years at the time of that conversation. I realized, by her reaction, that I had crossed a line when I assumed her age determined whether she needed her father or not. Of course, I would learn what she already knew the hard way when Mom died a few years after that conversation.
I know many who lost their fathers at different stages in their lives. My godson’s father died when he was a year old. I have other friends who lost their dads when we were in elementary, middle or high school. Some lost them during our college years or not long after.
Others lost their dads during middle age and even after. They all have one thing in common, though, and it is not a secret in their crowd – they need their dads.
In society, moms are seen as the go-to parents. Maybe it is that physical bond that lasts for nine months that leads most children, no matter their age, to automatically turn to mom for everything.
In the average household, you have probably heard or participated in a conversation that goes a little something like this:
“She’s busy. What do you need?”
“I need Mom.”
I don’t think dads realize just how much they are needed, though. Maybe it’s because the kids, whatever their ages, don’t say, or because dads, like society, believe moms are the top parent. But needing a father isn’t about needing someone to change your oil or join you on a fishing trip. You need your father for the simple fact that he is your father. You need to hear his voice. You need to know he thinks about you. You need to know that no matter how old you get, or no matter how life changes, that no matter how much either of you changes, he still sees and loves you as his child, just like you see and love him as your dad.
Not all dads realize this.
Today, some of you will be in pain because either your dad chose to leave or he had no choice but to leave because his life ended. To you, I send a piece of my broken heart, because I know what Mother’s Day does to me.
To the dads of big kids – you know, adults – I hope you realize not only how much you are loved, but how much you are needed. There is a little kid that still exists in your child and that child needs his or her daddy every day.
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