My mother called me the other day to share that she had watched the “Stay-At-Home Dad – Redefined” segment, which I recently posted.
“I loved it, Dana, but there was one part which really made me cringe.”
“What was that, mom?”
“Where the dad throws the pillow at his kid. I cringed.
“Mom, it was a pillow.”
“I know, but it still bothered me.”
We got off the phone soon after and for a split second I became rather worried about it. Would other people react the same way? I mean, this was my mom – the one who usually gives glowing reports. I mentioned the conversation to my wife and she shared a similar feeling. My sister-in-law had reacted to it as well.
And then it dawned on me: this brief, three second shot was the line-crossing distinction between the way most moms and dads typically handle their kids. The dads and men I’ve shown the clip typically chuckled at the pillow toss. It goes along with wrestling on the carpet, tossing the kid in the pool, carrying the kid through the air like a fighter plane around the house....
Do most moms do this? I’m sure some do as much as I’m sure some dad out there is going to watch that pillow hitting the boy and cringe – and not only is that fine by me, but it’s part of the point of the film. We’re in a time right now where women are doing men’s things and men are doing women’s things. The old rules no longer apply. There is an openness in the air about how to live, affected by changes in technology, economics and social movements. The evolution of dad, mom, family, society – it’s all connected. The key is becoming more open minded to new models and respecting differences of approach, if they’re beneficial – and especially if they involve pillows.