The story of the Texas single mom who pulled out all the stops to make sure her son enjoyed his school’s Donuts with Dad event has to make you smile.
Yevette Vasquez of Fort Worth donned a baseball cap, plaid shirt, fake mustache and even a splash of cologne to dress as a man and accompany her son Elijah to the donuts event. After Vasquez posted the pictures of her as “Dad” on her Facebook page, they quickly went viral.
Partly because Elijah looks so darned happy to have his mom by his side at school. Partly because this savvy mom put her fabulous getup together in only seven minutes. And partly because for all the single parents out there, this is so relatable. When you’re the only one holding the parenting reins, you have to do everything.
Elijah was clearly delighted with his mom’s makeover, and Vasquez found that most — although not all — of the dads at the event were supportive of her. It takes strength of character to step out of your comfort zone, whether that’s sticking on a fake mustache, improving your soccer skills or learning how to French braid like a boss. All in all, it was a positive experience, and if it inspires other single moms to do something similar, that’s great.
But Vasquez’s story has made us wonder whether it’s simply time to do away with these gendered school events. Some kids don’t have dads. Some have two dads. Some don’t have moms. Some have two moms. Some don’t have any moms or dads. Some have a mom and a dad, but they might not show up for donuts. Many single parents don’t see themselves as having to assume the (separate) roles of “Mom” and “Dad.” You simply have to be everything, and stereotypes are forgotten. Moms don’t feel like they’re playing Dad when they build their kid’s new bed or chase them at the park. Dads don’t feel like they’re playing Mom when they wipe away tears and bake cookies. These are simply things that have to be done. It’s not the traditional two-parent family setup, after all, so for the most part those traditional gender roles go out the window.
Kids who don’t have a dad shouldn’t feel they’re missing out on a fun school event. Open it up to whoever is the special person in each kid’s life, and we’re really reflecting the vast spectrum of families in 2016.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.