I've come to the realization that I am, in fact, one of those bloggers. Oh, you know the type... they only blog about the exciting stuff they do or complain about how the entire world, no, the entire universe, has had numerous secret meetings behind the Applebee's to plot against them and crush their every dream. You know... those irritating bloggers. Yeah, I'm one of those.
Why have I come to this realization? Well, I haven't posted anything in over a week and while I have this nagging feeling like I should be posting something, I just can't muster the strength needed to waddle over to my laptop and type something inane into my text editor. I mean, what would I write? Would I blog about the coworker that is slowly eroding the sanity of everyone in my office, like some H.P. Lovecraftian horror? Would I blog about my dissatisfaction with my current telephone, a dissatisfaction that stems less from any issues with its ability to make calls, but more from my boredom with it? Or, would I draw up some elaborate blog post about how my son's slavish devotion to apple juice is making me angry, yes angry, at apples themselves, as if those fist sized fruits were somehow trying to steal my son's affection from me?
This is what you may not know about those bloggers. Sure, you get irritated with them when you visit their pages, day after day, only to find that nothing has changed. But, have you ever considered that their inability to post, their shocking laziness compared to other, more prolific bloggers, is actually a gift to you. Tell me the truth, would you rather read about my mind-numbing crankiness with my cell phone or would you rather I didn't post anything at all? Yeah, I thought so too. That's why it's been a week without any updates.
Not surprisingly, I've been thinking a little about Father's Day and what it means to me this year. Last year, I asked if I deserved it. Was I a good enough father to merit a day to celebrate my skills in child-rearing? This year, for whatever reason, I've been thinking more about society's views of fatherhood, a much bigger topic than I could hope to touch on in a blog post.
Several months ago, maybe even longer than that, I was having coffee with a friend of mine. We were discussing the challenges we had encountered since becoming fathers, the particular hurdles that had been tripping us up, and he made a startling confession to me. He and his wife had adopted two beautiful girls from China, but he was ashamed about needing to adopt. You see, he was struggling with the idea that because he was unable to get his wife pregnant, he wasn't a real man.
At first, I thought he was joking. I might have even laughed at him, since I'm sensitive like that, but he was very serious. We spoke in hushed tones, that morning, whispering into our coffee cups, trying to make sure the cute girl with the pastry tongs didn't overhear our man-speak.
I have another friend, father of an adorable daughter, who also carries a sense of shame. You see, he is troubled by the fact that his family name will die with him, unless he "sires" a boy. His daughter, although wonderful, won't carry his admittedly strange name into the future. If his family name is to continue, he needs a boy and time is running out. He explains this fact with a voice that continually rises in volume, his tone growing more and more stretched as he speaks.
What the hell is going on here? Is this the 21st century or is it the 17th century?
I know, I know... men have it easy when it comes to child birth. If pop culture is to be believed, we also have it easy when it comes to being a parent, as our job is simply to organize the garage, repeat "go ask your mother," and pray that our Viagra kicks in when the "time is right." With our jobs being so simple, so easy, of course we have to be saddled with some sort of weird insecurity, but does it have to be this? Haven't we passed the time when our worth is measured not in our abilities to parent, but our abilities to "father?"
Maybe this is where we're headed. Maybe, in a society where a term like "baby daddy" had to be coined, we need these old fashioned insecurities to come back into vogue. Maybe, with women becoming more and more independent, men suddenly feel like they have to contribute something unique to be valued. Or, maybe I just hang out with a strange bunch of knuckle-draggers. I just don't know.
Any thoughts on this topic?