Soooo…. I get to be the president of our local Elementary School’s PTO.
That’s right, me. I’m heading up the Parent – Teacher Organization. Who would have ever thought of that?! I’m excited about the opportunity to serve the children of our school, and encourage parents to do the same. I’m also encouraged because some of my church members are willing to help out as well. This can be a superb ministry of our church, a real way to serve the community!
I found myself standing in the school office, and a young man was dropping off his two children. Without even thinking I said, “Dude, you need to be in the PTO!”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “What?” he said. “The what?”
I said, “The Parent – Teacher Organization. You know, help out the teachers that help our kids. We need guys, real men to step up and be examples. Help a brother out!”
Needless to say, he didn’t sign up.
As he left I wanted to shout something. But, I couldn’t. Everyone there knew I was a preacher, the el pastor of FBC Lake Worth. I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t say what I wanted to say.
This isn’t the first time I wanted to say it. The church is rife with men that just don’t get it. They don’t show up, and even if they do they are functionally absent.
I saw it growing up. Even the other children that had dads living in their households had little time with them. They didn’t love their wives, and put very little quality time into their children. They got more into Monday Night Football than their kids. I wanted to scream then as well, but I just didn’t have the words to say.
My two high school buddies found out on the same night that their respective parents were getting divorced. We piled into my car, and it was like a domino effect. “Guess what my parents told me,” said one. “Oh really, guess what mine told me,” said the other. Did I mention that that was a night I wanted to scream at the dads?
It is a primal thing, a rage of a kid…of a young adult…of a young father who gets to hold his own children and pour his love into their lives. Looking back and wondering at the Lack of the men around him. It’s enough to make a guy scream at them.
And now, I’m the president of a PTO. It is just assumed that if anyone takes part, it will be the mothers. It doesn’t matter that 1/3 of the families are single parent homes. It doesn’t matter that the majority of the others are 2 income homes. It doesn’t matter that life is just freakin’ hard, and so few people have so little free time of their own. It is as if the dads just don’t exist, as if the very thought of them participating…in…anything remotely a part of their children’s lives is incredible (as in non-credible).
If I could, it might be: “STOP BEING SUCH @#$%^*IES, AND MAN UP!”
But, I can’t say it. I’m a pastor.