A Father’s Day Reflection

As Father’s day wraps up I wanted to put down a few thoughts. Today at our community meal my wife and toddler joined us. Both of them have become regulars at many of our gatherings. The wee one has, in particular, become an integral part of the greater community. I can off the top of my head think of a few of our folks who, when they see me flying solo ask questions largely about her and then, maybe, will talk about themselves or ask how I’ve been.

“How’s she doing?”, “Is she talking?”, “What’s her favorite kinds of foods?”, “How old is she now?”, “Remember that time when you had her with you and…”

In many ways she has become a surrogate kiddo for many of our friends. For those who have lost their kids to CPS or don’t have a lot of contact with them, being around my little rugrat has given them the opportunity to act, even for just a brief moment, like the parents they wish they’d been or had the chance to be. I know this because at least a few of them have told me as much.

This is obviously a vast oversimplification; not all of our friends have this story, plenty of them don’t have kids at all, or they haven’t felt inclined to share that part of their story with me and that’s ok. But I want it to be said that in the year since I first started taking her down to join HOMEpdx on Tuesday afternoons I’ve seen tons of people who are often times ignored or treated as human trash by our society, those same folks have gone out of their way to love my kid like she was their own and some of them I don’t doubt for a second would run into traffic for her. She’s a lucky little girl who only has one daddy and one mommy, but she already has a hundred or so aunties and uncles who, safe to say, love her and she loves them – for that I can’t thank them enough.