There is a certain section of our cultural society who work extremely hard to be well known. It seems to me like that section of society is getting bigger all the time. Anymore I hear people talking about someone famous like their name is a household word, and I’ve never heard of them before. Whatever achievement they are famous for, whether it would be a rock star, actor, athlete, musician, politician, it would appear to me that their hardest effort is to remain famous. Indeed often it takes a whole team of people to keep that celebrity famous.
Not long following the dust settling after a major movie deal, a touchdown, a top 40 hit song, the public begins to look for who is new, who is hot, who captures our attention today. To keep yourself in the spotlight or the headlines you have to be doing something notable. Regular hard work isn’t enough. Think about it, constantly having to be photographed, linked on a date or relationship with someone else equally or more famous, getting divorced, getting married, adopting an elephant, getting surgery, going into rehab, man you have to wonder “how long can someone keep that up?” Yet some do, for years and years and years. And I gotta admit, some like Jennifer Lopez who is now counting decades behind her look fabulous for the effort.
I’ve had opportunity to meet a few very famous people in my life so far, I didn’t go look for it to happen, it just did for one reason or another. It was always a fascinating experience. I learned at least two things: some are much greater than you would imagine them to be, while some are much, much less than the hype that surrounds them.
A Double Agent Dad will rarely become famous for his efforts at being that dad. In fact, I can’t think of a single one. He might be the hero around the dinner table or within a small circle of friends, but he won’t be celebrated in the headlines for his hard work and sacrificial time dedicated to his special needs child and family. In reality, a lot of the time he doesn’t really even get to talk about it, or even want to.
But just like teachers, firemen, and garbage collectors, Double Agent Dads work hard at helping keep things together. He’s part of a team effort with his wife, his other children, with everyone who is involved. Without the unnoticed laborers of society we would break down very quickly: no one to protect us from criminals, no one to harvest and deliver our food to market, no one to keep our neighborhoods free from refuse. Bottom line it’s not a glamorous job. No one is photographing your every move. Most often these are invisible responsibilities.
If you know a Double Agent Dad, take time to notice his effort and tell him so. In my experience I’ve had a ton of critical comments hurled at me like a bazooka shot out from nowhere: “Why are you doing THAT? Can’t you control him better? Do you really think that’s best? I GUESS you know what you are doing…” Then once in awhile someone, even a stranger, will remark to me something like, “You know, I’ve watched you with your son, and you really love him, it shows. You are doing a great job, which I know is difficult.”
As little as that might sound, to a Double Agent Dad that’s like a banner headline of recognition. And chances are he has worked very hard, in many ways, in many circles, for that moment of being, well maybe just a little, in the eyes of one or two or a few, famous.