Sorry Charlie, fatherhood is more than a signature on a check


I told myself I was not going to do this.

I was not going to spend any time writing a single word about the nearly incoherent ranting of a misguided and overpaid actor.

I was not going to dwell on the damage he must be doing to his five children by being such a poor father and role model because I can do nothing about it.

What more could I add to the conversation? The world does not need yet another writer sitting in his PJs at his computer wagging his virtual finger at a spoiled Hollywood star.

But every time I placed my fingers on this keyboard in the last couple of weeks, I felt the urge to write something, anything, about the sad state of Charlie Sheen’s life. It was like a zit on the tip of my chin, and I wouldn’t be able to write anything else until I popped it.

So here goes: I pity Charlie Sheen.

He thinks he is living a glamorous life that every man in America would want, but he is delusional. I don’t want his life. He made more money taping one episode of the sitcom from which he was just fired than I have earned in my entire life, but I wouldn’t trade mine for his.

He doesn’t understand what fatherhood is about, and his children are the ones who will suffer.

At one point in the interviews, ABC News’ Andrea Canning on “20/20” asked him about his children, to which he responded: “They’ll wake up one day and realize how cool dad is, and you know, he signs all the checks on the front, not the back, and, you know, we need him and his wisdom and his bitchingness.”

Children need a lot of things from their fathers, but I’m fairly certain that “bitchingness” is not one of them, even though I’m not quite sure what that is.

But what struck me most is how Charlie Sheen did not respond. He did not say how much he loves his children and how they know he loves them, how he shows them his love.

Granted, I didn’t see every interview he has given in the last month, so he might have said it elsewhere, but still. Andrea Canning gave him the perfect opening, and he did not take it.

So I pity Charlie Sheen and feel sorry for his children.

He doesn’t understand that fatherhood is not about a signature on a check. It’s about loving your children unconditionally and spending time with them.

It’s about jumping out of bed and running to them when they wake up screaming at 3 a.m. because a dream scared them. It’s about helping them with their homework, teaching them the difference between right and wrong, picking them up when the fall, and holding them accountable when they make a mistake then forgiving them in the next breath.

It’s about being the kind of person you want your children to become one day.

And none of it costs a penny.

This is a repost of a blog entry I wrote for on March 8.

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