As Connie was leaving my house after book club last week, she spotted a picture of Paul and Olivia and paused to look at it. “Love it,” she said. “Me too,” I replied. I then went on to say that every picture I’ve seen of him and his precious daughter shows him smiling. Plus, he’s usually cradling her lovingly in his arms or kissing her. Connie went on to say, “Well, you know there’s a special bond between a dad and his daughter. I still miss mine every day.”
Connie loved her father. I loved mine too. My daughters love and admire their dad, and my husband’s daughters think he’s the cat’s meow. He is. Why am I going on and on about filial love? Because children need fathers. They need mothers AND fathers providing support, love, guidance, and the sense of security that all children need.
Today 42 percent of children born in SC are born to single mothers, and I just can’t “get it.” I’m not blaming the moms. It takes two to tango, and sometime between conception and birth, the father often decides the prom is over. Or it could be that the mother doesn’t want him around in a steady, committed way. Maybe she thinks she can be both a mother and father, especially if the “baby daddy” helps her financially. This is crazy thinking.
I’ve recently read of unmarried women who want to have children but don’t want a relationship with a man. In fact, it’s fine with them if they never see him. A sperm donor is all that’s required. On the surface, this sounds “okay,” and I can well understand the desire for fulfillment. Motherhood is not overrated. In fact, it’s downright awesome!
At the same time, I can’t understand why a woman would deliberately bring a child into the world with the knowledge that this precious being will never (in all likelihood) know his father. To me, it’s a selfish act, especially when one considers all of the unwanted children who are hungry for love. Why not adopt one of them? Does a woman like this sincerely believe that her personality, resources, strength, and love are all that a child needs? She’s wrong. People have a desire to know who they are where they came from.
I have tons of research to back me up on the above…all of it disheartening. Rather than drag out the statistics this afternoon, however, I’ll just mention an incident that my friend Tilara wrote about. She told a story of three young men who are currently in prison because of armed robbery. None really had paternal influence in their homes, and yet the 19-year-old’s father showed up in court to beg for mercy for his son. The son hadn’t seen his dad since he was 2, and now this young man has a 2-year-old child of his own.
Tilara’s post really touched my heart and spurred me to action. It’s one thing not to say anything for fear of offending someone. It’s another to stand quietly by and watch the missteps of what Tilara has accurately dubbed “the lost generation.” In her words: Tonight when I turn out my light to go to sleep, I am going to pray for these three boys, but I am also going to pray for all of the other boys that find themselves in this lost generation. Most of all I am going to pray that as a nation, we (everyone) look in the mirror tomorrow morning, and ask ourselves “What role can I play, in making our world a little better for this lost generation.”
What’s happening to our young people? What are you doing to make the world a little better for this lost generation?