The other day, I had the pleasure of paying a visit to Urban Bee Honey Farm’s new western town, populated by all manner of farm animals including several baby goats, some peacocks, a pair of ducks and many chickens. We were lucky: owners Lindsay and Jason, and their three children, were on hand to chat a bit with us about their newest arrivals.
One of the young girls pointed out a chicken to me. “She’s not our chicken,” she shared. “We are just borrowing her because our chicken wasn’t sitting on her eggs.”
“A babysitter,” I noted, and she agreed. A cute concept, that of a chicken taking care of another’s eggs, and one that is of course echoed in the human world with the ideas of wet nurses, nannies and the like, but with Father’s Day on the horizon I wonder “what about the guys?” Where are the roosters that are sitting on someone else’s nest?
Off to Google I went, and it turns out that although rare, there are species that are “stellar stepdads.” It appears that the motivation behind this behaviour is usually a bit self-serving, but it does exist in the animal kingdom.
Which it does in the human world too, of course, although in my opinion this gets overshadowed much of the time by genetic fathers. Visit a card store and you’ll likely be hard-pressed to find much of a selection of cards that don’t say “dad” or “father” but still celebrate the holiday and are the right fit for that man in your life who holds neither of those titles. In my family we call him simply “SD” (for stepdad) and he married my mom 10 years ago, filling a spot left vacant by my distant father.
Although my SD stepped in once we were adults, there are so many unsung stepdads who are there almost from day one of a child’s life, raising them in place of, or in partnership with, the biological father. These are my Men to Watch: the roosters who sit on another’s nest without question or accolade, or even a card that has the right title on it.
Happy Father’s Day to all.