Monday, August 29, 2011

Father of the year

Across the road from Mother's is a house that can only be described as a rental house. Let us just say it has minimal street appeal. Various tenants have come and gone, some ok, but mostly not. Mother is pleased that there is now a respectable tenant living there now. She has spoken to him a couple of times.

Every morning at eight o'clock he loads his daughter onto his motorbike and takes her to school. He is a single father bringing up a daughter.

I don't actually know if he is a great father, but on the face of it, he does his duty at least. While I know many women have brought up whole families on their own, that does not negate what this bloke does. He may not be the perfect father, but from what Mother says, he is pretty good from what she has observed.

Perhaps he could be Father of the Year? Not a chance. It always goes to a rich and or famous person. This year it is Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the retired chief of Australia's defence forces.

I call into question that he is a good choice. For the third time when he was pressed about his views on same sex parenting, he evaded and obfuscated.

This Father of the Year, choose a famous person, is an anachronism that should have passed on years ago, or been reinvented to include people like my Mother's neighbour.

When I was young, I would have been all for whatever parenting model suits. Now I am older, I think the ideal is Mum, a Dad, and a brother and sister (and a white picket fence). That's what getting old does to you.

Regardless, a child brought up by whatever combination of parents, so long as the child is brought up in a loving way and shown the right way to go in the world by example, that can't be bad.

So damn you Houston with your tightly defined mindset of how children should be brought up.

Btw, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston received honours for his time as a chief of our forces. Err, have you read the papers of late? What a mess the services are. I am not so sure that he should be proud of his legacy or should be awarded for it.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    It is always, or so it seems, the 'great and the good(!!)' who are given such awards; so many who are deserving are constantly overlooked. In our view, dispense with the whole thing for it becomes, like so much else, fairly meaningless.

  2. These awards are just for massaging over-blown egos, not really acknowledging the hard work parents do.

  3. Hear Hear. I used to tire out LC with my all-too-regular rants and raves about the so-called supermums (on the same wavelength as 'father of the year') who were only so because they were famous and had procreated.

    Wouldn't any celebrity be father or mother of the year if they earned a huge salary and had loads of paid help?

  4. I imagine that some women at the Defence Force Academy in the ACT may question his credentials as figurative 'father', given what the Defence Force seems to tolerate, or at best turn a blind eye to, as being acceptable behaviour.

  5. Anonymous11:12 am

    The whole idea of a Father of the Year is offensive. I can't imagine them ever having a Mother of the Year (perhaps they do but I'm not aware of it). It seems an implicit putdown of all the people who are not recognized as Mother/Father of the Year.
    And thinking about parenting, especially fathering, and the requirement to be away for long periods of time in the Defence Force- it is an uncomfortable definition of fathering. I have very mixed feelings when I see servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan/Iraq at the moment who leave young children, and I wonder why it's even necessary (or permitted) for them to be over there. It's a career choice for the parents that I can't see benefits the child in any way.

  6. Quite so JayLa. Awards for people who do no more that their job is wrong. I've ranted about it often enough in the past.

    You'd be in line for one then Jayne.

    Kath, the celebs would certainly have a head start on everyone else. If you can afford and use a nanny all the time, you can hardly be in the running as a supermum. If you survive on a deserted wive's pension and bring up four decent well behaved children who don't feel they have missed out materially, then that is surely getting close to being supermum.

    Yes Victor, that indeed calls into question the awarding of the Father of the Year itself.

  7. Judge, it is not like they are conscripted is it. It won't win me friends, but what kind of morals must they have that while their children are safely and comfortably back in Australia, they are bombing or whatever in foreign countries where they cause 'collateral' damage to so many innocents? Perhaps I am just naive. Graffiti I saw once, Get a career in the army. Join up and kill people. I will wear we need a force to defend Australia and perhaps go on peace keeping missions, but fighting other people's wars.... Oh, better stop. Blood pressure you know.

  8. As long as there is unconditional love tempered with gentle discipline and humour its all good - kids just need to know someone loves them and that even if they do stupid things and balls up they will still be loved

  9. Wise words MC, yet so many don't get it.