- Family and Parenting
Mel Gibson-'Baby Daddy'
Unless you reside on another planet you've likely heard, that actor/director Mel Gibson has fathered his eighth child. Don't pass out the cigars just yet. Mr. Gibson, famous for 'Braveheart, Pocahontas' John Smith,The Patriot, and The Passion of the Christ is becoming infamous for yet another role. That being the dual role of a cheating husband/'baby daddy'. "Say it isn't so Mel, say it isn't so".
Unfortunately it is so. Gibson reported to Jay Leno formerly of the Tonight Show, that he is indeed the father of an unborn child by his now girlfriend. He jokingly referred to himself as 'Octo Mel'. This in reference to his seven children by his estranged wife, and the soon addition of the child fathered out of wedlock. This most recent revelation is the culmination of a myriad of disappointing stories. Mr. Gibson has been on what has seemingly been a downward spiral, beginning months ago with a drunken tirade, followed by a string of misadventures. At the time of the Leno interview, and of this writing Gibson was not yet divorced from his wife of 28 years. Reportedly they have lived separately over the last three.
How very sad. Mel himself said as much. Concerning his failed marriage he reported that it is sad that 'it' happened. He took the blame, saying his wife is an 'admirable' woman. Admirable ! Some would say Gibson is taking the high road in speaking well of his children's mother. I am not one of them. It is distressing that Mr. Gibson thinks so little of the vow he made twenty eight years ago before God and man. For that matter, it is disturbing to observe the casualness with which our society views the breakup of what seemed at one time to be a strong marriage. It is just so ho-hum.
When the announcement was made by Mel on Leno, that he had impregnated his girlfriend, while still married, the audience applauded. When asked if he would marry his girlfriend, he replied " why would anyone get married again ?" So, in addition to bastardizing his original seven children by abandoning their mother, he is promising the same to number eight. Still, I suppose he has a point. If he could not keep the promise of his marriage vows to his first wife, what are the chances of him doing better with a second.
We have become downright relaxed about infidelity, and promiscuity. So, relaxed that society has coined a new phrase, a distorted moniker of sorts. There is no need for a husband, and in the case of some men, no need for a wife. A 'baby daddy', or 'baby mamma' will do. A generation of children will not hear their parents introduced as 'Mr and Mrs'. What is consistently being heard these days is, "this is my baby's daddy/mama". The significant other in the relationship is no longer significant.There is no longer any shame in giving birth to a child without being married. Mel Gibson is only an example as to how far we have fallen. He is not alone. In fact, Hollywood is a harbinger of this new trend. How many movie star mothers are sporting babies without husbands. A generation of kids will grow up without the comfort of having the same last name as both parents. The long term marriage commitment is dispensable. In all fairness there are a few holdouts in Hollywood. (hang in there Denzel, I am pulling for you). Listen, there is something to be said about having your name on the mailbox. Parenting children is more than providing sperm and eggs. Here is a novel idea. Love your child by marrying and staying married to his mom or dad. Be more than a 'baby daddy/mama. See it through, be a generational family.
Mel looked pretty good on Leno. He was obviously excited about his new life. Judging by the applause, the audience, was excited for him. There were lots of 'yuks'. Undoubtedly his kids were not home watching, and if so they were probably not 'yukking it up'. Our society has fooled itself into believing that 'children are resilient'. Not so much, at least not in a divorce. I would dare say, that most kids believe, 'love me, love my mother'. Children take it personally when their parents divorce. After all, "if I am part of my mother. you must hate that part of me."
I will not completely vilify Mel Gibson. A few years ago, he produced in my estimation, the greatest accomplishment of his career. Gibson produced and directed,The Passion of the Christ with enormous expense to himself. There were plenty of roadblocks to overcome. No one wanted to stand with him in the production of this obviously Christian and therefore controversial film. He believed in the project and forged on. It grossed millions of dollars. More significantly he told a great story, in fact the greatest story ever told. A tale emerged during the publicity of this venture. Whether it is true or not, I can not be sure. It was rumored that Mel Gibson took a slight part in the film. Though his face was never seen, his hands held the nails pounded into the feet and hands of Jesus. He wished to illustrate the fact that his sins placed Jesus on that cross. He was right. Mine too. The good news for me, and Mr. Gibson is this, "by HIS stripes, we are still healed."
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