Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's a dad to do?

Did you notice all the moms at this year's Olympics? This writer did:

Indeed, the number of superior male athletes at the Olympics who look to their mother, as opposed to their father, for inspiration is astonishing. Basketball superstar LeBron James was raised alone by his mother Gloria to whom he remains especially devoted. Jamaican uber-sprinter Usain Bolt ran straight to his mother Jennifer's arms after breaking the world record in the 100 meter dash and becoming the fastest man alive. America's best male sprinter, Tyson Gay, is so close to his mother Daisy that he phones her every day and especially an hour before he races to help calm his nerves. The list goes on.

Leading him to ask, are men necessary? Maureen Dowd asked that in a recent book title. Boteach's conclusion, however:

And then I remembered. Yes, there was one big thing. I alone could love their mother. That was not something she could do on her own. I could teach my children by means of living example the glories of devotion to a special woman who sacrifices so much on all of our behalf. I could show my children that love was not a fantasy concocted in Hollywood or invented in a novel. I alone could demonstrate to my children that their mother was precious and that love was real. No one could do this but me. I was necessary after all, as was every other father and husband.

In other words, the greatest gift a man gives his children is to love their mother. By doing so, he imparts the lesson that there are things in life more glittering than gold and more precious than rubies.

2 comments:

Jeff Swan said...

The "Hi, Mom!" factor in tv sports has stood out for twenty years or more. It was nice to see Misty May go hug her dad when she and Kerri Walsh won the beach volleyball gold medal, even though it was sad her mom had died six years ago. Even more surprising was to see Walsh take a moment to thank President Bush for his inspiration - so there were two female gold medal winners recognizing male leaders, which is so rare these days. Kathleen Parker's new book is Save The Males, but she said she thought about calling in "I Hate Daddy", just to rip Dowd.

november said...

The conspicuous absence of Phelp's father was something I noted early on.

If I were a father and had a son winning gold medal after gold medal, I would make sure to be at every event, front and center. Undoubtedly, there is some serious strain in that relationship.