Here's the premise: The school lures/shames fathers to attend this once-yearly weekday a.m. event (8:00). They provide, donuts (Dunkin'). They have coffee (Starbucks). They have apple and orange juices in tiny cups for the chirrens. Overtly they are trying to build a better father-child-school relationship (through this once-a-year thing).
So, I was thinking, why are they pushing this so hard? In this SES and through my progressive, liberal filter, I figured, 'aren't all fathers involved in their children's primary education?'
But, I've never claimed to be smart, right?
So we arrive and it's packed! See it was packed?! This is what I'm telling you--I think, "look at all of these fathers with their kids." I initially thought it looked like Berkeley or Takoma Park or Park Slope with overly-attentive fathers...all white though.
At the door where we enter the All Purpose Room, some moms handed out flyers. Light green, 8.5 x 11" paper, single-sided printing. Each arriving father received one. Its title:
"Dads and Donuts 2007 -- You make a difference in the life of your child."
The image is of a adult-male hand holding that of a child. The (white) father appears to be wearing s sweater, as does the child. It must be autumn. Soft focus and blurred background. Tears well.
Jonas Salk is quoted on this thing too:
"Good parents give their children roots and wings--roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them."Oy! Is all this shit necessary? The place is packed after all. Dads. Donuts. Coffee. Moms serving. See? It's all so...important!
Then I see the Blackberrys. I see the mobile phones popping out. I see suits. I see vacant stares. I see laptop bags! Fathers are talking to fathers. Children are running amok.
Then I tune in to the conversation at my table:
Dad 1: "Does yours fightcha over homework?"And then I knew. Oh. I am surrounded by mopes.
Dad 2: "I dunno, my wife takes care of all that."
Dad 1: (to child): "Buddy, I can only stay a minute, m'kay?"
Dad 2: "How long does this thing go?"
Dad 1: "There's only decaf left!"