Michael Rosen

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June 2010 Archives

This is a snapshot from my video....
YouTube-Fatherhood-screenshot.jpg

just as technology thing.

When I was a kid, I thought Father's Day was a made up holiday, a greeting card company creation. And of course it is, sort of!

But, so what?

As I've gotten older, and became a father, and then became a father to boys (now young men) who didn''t have fathers, I've learned an important meaning to Father's Day...

Carmelo-Ayala.jpg

The man on the right is "Papi," Mr. Carmelo Ayala, murdered on Good Friday, March 28, 1997 in the Bronx as one little boy who became my son watched, and his mother and brothers and others watched...

Sometimes the first way we understand what something means is not to have it anymore.

So I think Father's Day, or least a few hours each Father's Day, should become End Poverty Day. There has to be a catchier phrase, but End Poverty Day is the essence of what I'm thinking about because so many children growing up in poverty don't have fathers. Not present, and often not alive.

Holidays have Rituals. We paint and hunt Easter Eggs, we hang Christmas ornaments and unwrap presents, carve the Thanksgiving Turkey and open the door for Elijah at the Passover Seder (we forgot to open the door this year).

I'M THINKING ABOUT SOME FATHER'S DAY RITUALS,
A PARTIAL LIST (and please email your suggestions to me):

This Sunday in Summer...

Find a Little League baseball game, or a soccer game [I know I tend to start off with sports, but we did meet our "bigger boys" on a baseball field, and accept Robert Frost's adage that "Some baseball is the fate of us all"] or any other kids' program that a Boys & Girls Club is running for kids, or WHEDCo [yes, Davon Russel is my hero] if you live in the NY area, or a similar organization where you are. Call the organization before hand, to know where and when to be, and what you can do. And when it's over, if you're touched, do it again...

Go to your local public library, ask the librarian at the front desk about their children's reading series, and let the librarian you want to volunteer. Then volunteer. And IF they don't have a chidren's reading series, start one ! And find a library in a disadvantaged area, if you perhaps live on a community of BMWs [we have a BMW, so only self-reflection involved]. Help a poor kid fall in love with books.

Figure out how you can give a summer job to a kid who needs one.... Whether you can find a way to employ someone, or your spouse, or other loved ones can. Or perhaps your union, or your boss. And then do something possibly extraordinary... OFFER that job to a poor kid. And if you can't create a job, create an internship. And OFFER that internship to a kid whose life might be transformed forever by the experience you create.

OR, Sit down with a piece of paper, or your laptop of desktop, and write down ways you might mentor a child. And after you've finished your list, do one or more of those things.

AND email your list to me.

rosen@michaelrosenwords.com

So I can learn more, and pass along ideas...

It's not easy to build good rituals for a new holiday. But our holidays without ritual seem to hover too much. I think the thought will be worth the effort.


nyc-sky.jpg

That's New York last night at sunset.

Father's Day is coming. Thinking about family, responsibilities, teaching our sons and learning from them.

I put a lot of good work, with the help of good people, into my FATHERHOOD video, on YouTube - which starts with a skyline too. That's my narrative arc, here.

As a Father's Day gift, Please think of sending this video on to your kids, or your Dad or Mom, or your Friends and Neighbors.

I'm at JFK, waiting for my flight to Beijing, then Qingdao. Watching a part of the future.

This is a sort-of-blog entry...
kindu-graduation-blog.JPG

I'm writing an email blast, and want to include this photo of Kindu, his mom Elaine and his younger brother Charles,,, so I have to post it here first.

I'm going to write a Father's Day email blast as well. I hope the people on my blast list don't get upset with 2 June entries...

 

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