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No Crabs for Our Fathers

By Barrington H. Brennen, 2005, 2017

In a few weeks the crawling crabs of the Bahamas will be seen trapped in wooden cages and wire baskets along the busy streets of Nassau. It will be crab selling time. I cannot help but notice that the peak of the crab-selling period comes in June around Fathers Day each year. Just a few days ago, the streets were lined with small tents housing teddy bears, gift baskets of perfume, wine, and other attractive souvenirs. What was the occasion? It was Mothers Day. What a contrast! Mothers are honored with sweet-smelling, attractive gifts, while fathers are acknowledged with ugly, smelly crabs. I am trying to point out the obvious - the absence of flowers and gifts on Fathers Day on Bahamian streets.

I am in no way trying to stop the crab sellers from lining the streets on Fathers Day. However, I am concerned about the little appreciation we show to our wonderful Fathers. The days before Mothers Day and during Mothers Day there are eager sons and daughters buying gifts for their mothers. It is now time that we let the teddy bears and flowers line the streets the same way for our Fatherís Day too.

I have been writing about this subject for the past four years. I cannot help it because the way we are treating our fathers seems so cold and indifferent. Our fathers deserve more. Maybe part of the problem is our fathers themselves. Too long have our Bahamian men thought that nurturing and caring is a womanís job. Flowers and teddy bears, they say, are for women. Therefore, some traditions and legislation favor women and demean men. Now men are crying out injustice. Who made the laws in the past? Who usually shun the flowers and teddy bears? The answer to both questions is men themselves. We must change that. If we do not give them teddy bears, then give them something else meaningful to them.

Our boys and girls need their fathers. Children need both mother and father to be raised in a balanced and healthy atmosphere. When we highlight the mothers and ignore the fathers we down play the equally serious role Fathers plays in the lives of their children.

Why must we give the crab vendors competition on Fatherís Day? Because there are many Bahamian fathers who are dedicated, caring, nurturing fathers. They are active in their childrenís lives and are setting a positive example to the community.

Dear readers, on this upcoming Fatherís day, please letís encourage our fathers by showing them how much we care for them, not with crabs but with flowers, perfume, teddy bears, etc. Tell your fathers "I Love you" on Fatherís day. He is dying to hear those words. I hope next year I would not have to remind us again that Fatherís day is not just for crabs, instead itís for fathers.

Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist.   question@soencouragement.org or call 1-242-327-1980



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April 26, 2000, TAGnet/NetAserve / Network Solutions

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