Many of the fathers I know are wonderful at their vocation. They are firm in their self-discipline and strive to instill that gift into their children. This post isn't about them. It's about a type of father who is becoming much more prevalent in our self-serving, media saturated culture.
The other day I had an appointment with Mr. Baby and happened to witness two males who were fathers in the loosest sense possible: they'd reproduced. One man was so tethered to his iPhone that the mother of his child had to hold not only the baby's carrier but the father's hand to drag him through the office. He never even looked up. The other man parked a car and never got out of it. He let the mother of his children lug a baby carrier out of the car. To be fair he "helped" by unbuckling another child, a toddler, and setting him outside the car on the street. He held on to the boy's arm until mom came around the back of the car, but then he just let go of him. When the boy fell down, dad took that opportunity to shut his car door before the kid got up again. Dad of the Year didn't even bother getting out or even reaching down to right his child. Mom took the two children in on her own. Dad whipped out his phone before they were even across the street.
Both of these men were so involved in pleasuring themselves that they were blind to the needs of the families they'd created. Both were so buried in a false world inside their phones that they couldn't see the world around them, a world where women, the very women they shared a bed with, were struggling with baby gear and doors.
Both of these women had found and presumably fallen in love with infantilized men. What could possibly be so wrong in their lives that this type of man would be attractive in the first place, and how in the world will they cope with the fall out of such abysmal fathers for their children?
I just don't know. All I know is I see more of this type of father all the time, men who are checked out. I don't know the cause, but I usually try to end my pieces with a bit of hope or a call to duty. I'm falling a bit short of ideas here. The only thing I can think of to cure this type of failure in fatherhood is to pray. Otherwise, at least for the lives of those children I saw, the future looks grim.