Happy Father’s Day to me

Published 9:21 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I don’t understand it.

I mean, it’s one of those things I honestly cannot get my head around.

Maybe if I believed that humans were just more highly-evolved animals and … no, even then it doesn’t work because the animals that are considered more highly-evolved don’t behave like this.

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It’s the phenomenon of not loving your children.

How can someone abandon a child in a dumpster or even on a doorstep? I’m not talking about putting a child up for adoption, for any reason. I’m talking about abandonment. Big difference.

How can someone kill a child, especially their own? What drives a parent to the point where they are so angry or negligent that their children suffer the consequences?

Again, I understand that accidents happen. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about those who simply do not care. Or they are simply hateful. Evil, really.

I try to understand, I honestly do. A distracted father leaves a sleeping infant in a car because he doesn’t normally take the child to the sitter, is not used to checking the back seat and has his mind on work and the silence is not unusual. Tragic, horrible, but I understand how it could happen.

A teenager backs over a child who has suddenly knocked down the expandable gate on the porch and has run over to see her big brother. He doesn’t see her until it’s too late. My heart aches at the thought, but I see how it can happen.

But when a mother sells her child for drugs or beats the child to death because he cries too much … we can blame the substances or the situations but it was still an adult whose primary duty was to protect and raise that child and they betrayed that trust.

When a parent abuses a child mentally, physically, sexually or emotionally they prove themselves unfit to be a parent, and they scar a child for life. Inexcusable.

But the thing that starts my mind down this path today is the refusal of a father to be involved in the life of his child. A father who knows the child exists, was there in the beginning and then decides at some point along the way not to act in any way toward that child like a father should is not a father in any sense more than a physical contributor of DNA.

Disagree with me if you will, but that’s my opinion.

I have four children who are mine biologically and one who is mine because I chose to be her father when I married her mother. Just because the mother of my first four children and I went through a divorce, this doesn’t mean that my responsibility to or my love for my children changed.

I don’t love them because of what they achieve, or how they look, or how they behave or what they do for me. I love them simply because they are my children.

When I remarried, my wife’s daughter came with her. I had nothing to do with her creation biologically. But her father doesn’t have anything to do with her and I choose to have everything to do with her. She is mine by choice. And I love her for the same reason I love her siblings. She is mine.

I don’t have any step-children. That word before the hyphen is unnecessary to me. It’s just an extra “step” in saying who someone is to me.

I have the best father in the world, hands down, so I don’t claim to be the best. I only claim to be adequate, really. But as I look at the photo on my desk of my wife and me surrounded by our five children, in these few days before the day we annually celebrate dads, I wish myself a very happy Father’s Day.

And it will be.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5307.