C’mon Dad, We Need You!

11 Jun

My kids have thrived since I got involved in the fight for food justice.

Dads do many things.  Many, many things. Dad is a worker.  Dad can be a teacher, a philosopher, or just the guy who cuts the grass.  Dad can be a friend, a confidant, lover, or the enforcer.  Dad can be loving, kind, or perhaps not so much.  Dad is often the breadwinner.  The term ‘dad’ is all encompassing, and means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

Right now we need you Dad, your strength, your wisdom, your honesty, and your hard work ethic, out on the front lines.  Not for the traditional war being waged by the USA somewhere (everywhere?), but here at home, fighting for your family, right in your own home.

There is a Food Revolution going on, a fight for Food Freedom.  GMOs are being pedaled in most of the food we eat, having never been tested, and our kids are getting sick.  Sicker than ever before.  My kids.  Your kids. The worlds biggest chemical corporations are in charge of our food system. It’s not good.  It’s the kind of politics that drive you crazy, whether you be ‘Right Dad’ or ‘Left Dad’.  We need you to join the fight. NOW!

I noticed a trend years ago after my son was diagnosed with a learning disability (ASD).  The trend was; mom handles that. Seemed like most of the parents talking about these issues, going to therapies, researching, sharing ideas, meeting with teachers, etc, were the Moms.  I didn’t think much about it at first, I was just trying, along with my wife, to make heads or tails of this new world of special ed; what it meant, how it’s handled, what the options were, did anyone else feel this guilt I felt?, etc etc.

It can be a long road filled with anxiety, mild depression, and some tears.  But it was also a period of great self discovery for my wife and I.  My favorite quote is Camus: “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”.  This thing was not going to beat me!  It reframed me as a Dad, and what that word actually meant. I was in charge? Well, I better get on top of this cause it’s a bit more important than cleaning the gutters.

I learned during this time that if my wife and I could work together, we were one hell of a tough team to beat!  Our relationship strengthened, our love grew, and we became a force.  I learned that it was up to ME, the Dad figure, to grab this thing by the horns and work with it.  To deal with it.  To be emotional. I was Dad after all, right?  The family was counting on me.

Dad’s are often busy, I know.  They do this thing called work which sometimes seems to excuse them from doing other things.  Things perceived as woman’s work.  Sensitive stuff.  School stuff.  Kid stuff. Doctor stuff.  Well, I’m sorry Mr. Dad, but your job is to take care of the family, and that also includes being mentally present for these tough challenges.

Yes, tough challenges. The kind of things you take head on at work I bet.  Challenges you are quite vocal about re: the economy, or your politics, or your football team.

Yes, I’d rather just watch hockey too.

I know it’s just easier to let Mom handle these things, these feelings.  And maybe Mom even gave you a pass on this stuff, and she’s partly to blame for enabling your behavior (stop it Mom, he’s a big boy!). Whatever the reason, it’s time for change.  Real change that YOU control.  Lots of Dads like being in control right (my wife will smile at this one)?  Maybe Mom has been tugging at you lately, driving you crazy maybe with all the organic talk etc?  Well, she needs you! She needs support! Time to listen.

Yes I know, you can’t make every school play because of work, or every doctor’s appointment, or every March Against Monsanto. But we can all CONNECT better.  If Mom is dealing with a special needs kid, or allergies, or asthma…YOUR kid, she needs you more than ever. Now. Every day.  It’s an incredible burden to have to make all these decisions by yourself.  It’s time to be a team (in sickness and in health, remember that old gag?).

Mom is on the front line of this food fight (or at least signing petitions and shopping smarter).  Mom is pissed!  Mom is motivated! Mom is making changes! So support her.  Don’t just shrug your shoulders and say ‘she does the shopping’, and then just eat what’s put in front of you.  Get involved!!  Don’t act like you have no idea what she’s blabbing about. Talk to her!!  Yes it’s heavy stuff!  But you’re strong right? You’re the Dad right?

Understand she’s in an enormous battle right now! Bigger than any other. Yes, any other.  That is NOT an exaggeration.  Food being poisoned, and causing allergic reactions in our kids never ever seen before, is a bigger threat than any terrorist cell … anywhere.  And this is happening right here in the good ole USA!

It’s not the Liberal’s fault, it’s not the GOP’s fault, it’s not China’s fault, it’s OUR fault. We’ve become too distracted, too complacent, or just been given a pass that we work hard and can’t be bothered.  

This is a fight that IS affecting you and your kids, and if you’re lucky enough to have a typical kid, untouched by Autism, ADD, Asthma, or Severe Allergies that’s wonderful, just wait until you’re a Grandparent.  It may very well catch up to you then, when these kids with disabilities meet other kids with disabilities and have kids of their own.

Dad can be a tough guy right?  Dad can wave the flag and talk about freedom?  Dad can talk about fighting right and wrong?  That’s GREAT, but now we need you to hit the trenches with your significant other.  They’ve been out there battling, and they need you by their side.

There is no meeting, job, gig, trip, conference, or appointment more important than leading the family. Mom’s needs a partner, an ally, a buddy, someone to not only make tough decisions with, but someone who understands.  Yes, we all tune out sometimes from various conversations (except me honey xo!), it happens, but this is a BIG issue, and we need you tuned in and ready to rock!

It’s not an easy discussion to start.  Many people (other Dads especially), won’t have any clue what you’re talking about re: GMOs.  Most Dads still think going to ‘McRonalds’ is a treat.  So what?  Blaze your own trail!  It won’t be as easy as drinking beer and watching the game, or grilling something while blasting the classic rock.  It’s not as enjoyable as just ‘vegging out’ in front of the TV, or listening to strangers on the radio talk about baseball stats.  This is serious stuff.

Seven years down the organic road, making non-GMO food choices, my son is OFF the Autism Spectrum!  Yes.  My daughter no longer has Asthma!  And FOOD was a major part of their recovery, and ongoing health.  I didn’t know most of the things I know now re: this food revolution, it came after I got involved, and it’s transformed me as a person.  It’s made me a better Dad!

Some dad’s suck I know, but that’s not you, you don’t suck.

You are Dad, you are awesome, you are a leader, you are smart, and other Dads will follow you.  We need you right now Dad, join us!

Disclaimer: Yes, there will even be time left over for beer, tunes, and fantasy football.

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