On Wednesday, the country will celebrate the 242nd anniversary of the day the American experiment was effectively launched. And among the flurry of flags and bunting that will be raised and draped, many of us will take a hard look at those ubiquitous stars and stripes and contemplate what they truly stand for.
By now we’ve all seen the news. Families along the border between the U.S. and Mexico have been separated, parents into the system and their children into cages (and representing themselves in court), unsure when—or if—they will see the other again.
Debates over the merits of immigration have raged on for centuries and will likely outlive us all. Amid the hyperbolic rhetoric and ruthless politics, however, we keep focusing on people suffering the collateral damage, like this father listening to his daughter’s pleas for help and knowing he’s powerless to do anything but offer hollow assurances.
If you’re a dad, and a picture like this doesn’t make your lungs seize, it’s time to get your affairs in order because it’s quite possible you’ve been dead for weeks.
Tomorrow, Americans will stand together to share our common belief that taking children away from parents is not a product of democracy nor the price of freedom, but rather a depth to which we should never sink. The Families Belong Together protests and marches will be held all across the U.S., and you and your family will have the opportunity to lend your voice to families that have none.
If America is a “shining city on a hill,” we need to resist efforts to dehumanize people, especially those refugees who, after legally seeking asylum and submitting to its rigors, are seeking a better life for their children.
IN THE NEWS
When it comes to parenting, do you consider yourself a guide or a guard?
This interesting piece is the second in a series speaking to very different dads about fatherhood and the effects thereof.
Kids aren’t all the same. Perhaps differences in learning styles may be better served through parental advocacy and educator-inspired acceptance, rather than forced conformity.
“Having Phoebe [at 58] has completely changed me. I lived most of my life responsible only for myself; not really thinking about other people very much. Now I think I’ve finally grown up.”
“Establish—and enforce consequences. The manners bar should get higher as your child gets older.”
“How do you encourage a true life, where the risks are worth it and chances must be taken?”
Fact: You’re never too old (or too ridiculously successful) to learn from your dad.
Dads, let’s all agree how early we should get to the airport.
“Hands-on” deserves a much broader interpretation than literally having your hands on your kid.
- “If nothing else, I suppose it served as a reminder to me that I still have some work to do regarding being open-minded about my place in the world.” – Aaron Yavelberg, Being Jewish in a German Airport
- “It’s a strange time in my life, and in the world at large, to wallow in self-pity. I don’t really have the oomph for that kind of thing right now.” – Joe Medler, Summer Vacation
- “There I was, looking down the tiger that is a low blood sugar. No meter, no CGM, no glucagon, no low snacks, nothing, nada, zilch, jack squat. Not good at all.” – Tim Brand, D-Dad Fails: Yard Waste with a Low
- “Instilling a sense of pride in our children is a responsibility many parents work to fulfill. For our family, in which my wife and I both identify as queer, that includes our children being proud of their queer trans papa and queer cis mama. Together, we make a proud queer family.” – Robbie Samuels, LGBTQ Pride Through Raising Strong, Resilient ‘Queerspawn’
- “The guilt was waning. We were relaxing. We were doing what we wanted to do. We had the complete ability to be selfish for the first time in a long time and we soaked it in.” – Buzz Bishop, I’m on Vacation and I Don’t Miss My Kids
Are your kids on the internet? Just kidding: Of course they are. Check out this video from our pal (and Dad 2.018 alumus) Jorge Narvaez on helping kids “Be Internet Awesome!”
Do you receive the Dad 2.0 Summit Newsletter? You should! In it we share all kinds of information and news about the Dad 2.0 Summit. Add it to your inbox! It’s the perfect way to start planning your trip to San Antonio.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images