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Father’s Day

My coworker, J, has three sons. I asked him a couple days ago if he was excited about Father’s Day.

"Not really. When is it?" he asked.

"Next weekend. Why aren’t you excited?"

"I don’t know. Father’s Day isn’t really a big deal. People care about Mother’s Day, they don’t care about Father’s Day."

We kept talking about it, and he told me he didn’t have a dad growing up, and so even now as a father, he didn’t really feel much about the day. I responded that since he’d moved beyond that way of thinking about being a father, I didn’t understand why he didn’t have new feelings about Father’s Day. He compared it to Christmas vs. Chanukah. That even if I were to convert to Judaism, I would probably never really feel the same about Chanukah as I did about Christmas, because that’s what I was raised with.

After our conversation, it continued to nag me. I started to realize that it wasn’t J’s personal feelings that were bothering me; it was the way society treats mothers vs. fathers. I believe that anyone choosing to be a parent should have equal responsibility in child rearing. Not necessarily in the day-to-day activities (because every family’s different), but in the overall sense of being a parent: the general things like showing love and support and stability and being emotionally present for one’s kid/s. And to have the expectation that this is a father’s job as much as it ...

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