Friday, July 29, 2011

A Look At the Documentary Dear Daddy: The Voices of Children Without Fathers

My father and I are not close to each other today, but there was a time when I was the apple of his eye and knew what it was to be daddy's little girl.  Watching my unhusband with our boys, I once again learned the importance of a man in the life of a child.  I have watched him go to work, when he should be home resting, allowed his body to be turned into a human jungle gym, engage in the most childish and sometimes irritating games just to get a giggle, change diapers, scare away monsters from closets, read bed time stories, clap proudly at school recitals, help with homework, give out endless hugs and kisses, and most importantly be there for all things big and small.  Yes, it is possible for a woman to raise her children by herself, but the task is infinitely easier with a loving and engaged partner. Fathers are not disposable; they have an extremely important role to play in the life of any child.

In the following video, a young girls reads a letter to the camera talking about her feelings regarding her absentee father.  This is based on a project in which Janks Morton approaches several children with the same task.  After recording these videos, he plays them for the men who have chosen to place their children last on their priority list. How will these fathers react to what their children have to say?

Warning: You will cry




Transcript
My name is Jasmine, so I grew up without a father. Dear (indiscernible) I have the simply fact that you left my mom when I was little and she struggled from then on trying to feed me and put clothes on my back and being able to figure out how I am going to go to school. I hate the simple fact that the only time you come around is when you need something and you don't even call to give me a hug, or even come around to see me, or even pick me up. I hate the simple fact that you left me, and I had no one to talk to when I couldn't go to my mother.  I hate the simple fact that you wasn't there when I had my first heart break.  And it hurts me that I don't have a father to go to when I have a problem. It even hurts me that my mother have to play both parts: my mother and my father.  I count on her more than I can count on you.  I hate the simple fact you took the easy way out.  You don't even stop by to ask her if she need[s] help or to give her money for me, or to even check to see if I'm still alive. 

I need somebody there for me and you're not there and my mother is here.  You care more about everything else than you care about me.  It hurts when I hear that you spend all the money in the world on your girlfriend and you can't even come see me. You stay with her and her kids, and you buy them stuff and you treat them like they're your kids -- and my mother is struggling everyday.  I can't.... I hate you so much to the point that I hope that you really burn in hell for what [you are] doing. I don't even care if you got hit by a car and if they told me, I wouldn't even shed a tear for you -- cause you are not there for me, so why should I cry for you? I can't....I can't go on.  (at this point the young woman is crying so heavily that the director comes on screen and holds her while she cries)

I know that there are plenty of men out there who handle their business and raise their families, because I come from just that kind of family, but I think that this video is important for those who don't realize that being an absentee parent causes a lifetime of pain.  No child deserves this kind of pain. Children need their fathers, not just a sperm donor.