I’m not much in the way of a celebrity. I try to be actively involved in my small, local community so it’s probable that I have some name or face recognition there. But outside of the high school where I teach and the wonderful readers who follow some of work at The Resurgent or in some other newspapers, my anonymity is solidly in check.
Still, even the small degree of notoriety my work attracts has made me apprehensive about publicly sharing images of my family. I do have a public Instagram account that features a few pictures or videos of my kids, as well as a public Facebook page that features a profile picture of my family from a few years ago.
To this point I have left them that way because of the relatively small amount of people – most of whom I know – who access those accounts. Should something ever happen to increase my public persona, I guarantee that will change. As much as I hate that given that anyone wanting to know me would require them to know my family, it’s just smart. I can’t fathom why any superstar, celebrity, or high-profile politician would ever agree to put their wife and children in front of today’s judgmental, meddling, and intrusive cameras.
A prime example of my reasoning is currently happening to the guy I have loved to hate for the last couple decades: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. A veritable sports icon known all over the world, Brady has a very marketable image – he’s in great shape, his wife is a supermodel, his children appear to be well mannered and polite, and the family simply exudes success.
Consequently, Brady agreed to the airing of a documentary called “Tom vs. Time” that brought cameras into his home to reveal some of what it’s like to be the most recognizable face in the world’s most popular sport. And it’s already causing him absurd headaches:
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is catching some heat over a kiss he shared with his son. The moment was shown as part of a Facebook docu-series, and now some are questioning this type of affection between parents and their kids.
I can’t believe they’re making me do this. But I guess I always knew that if any group of people could prompt me to do the unthinkable – defend Tom Brady – it would be our culture’s stupid media. And now the vultures have done it, as they not-so-discreetly imply that a man who by all accounts appears to be a good dad to his kids is actually some incestuous pedophile.
First of all, this isn’t news. Secondly, even though Brady consented to the documentary, that doesn’t excuse this type of invasion of parental preferences. And that’s what this is. Some dads don’t ever kiss their kids. Some dads kiss their kids only on the cheek. Some dads kiss their daughters on the mouth and sons on the cheek. Some dads kiss their kids on the mouth until they’re 5, then switch to the cheek. Others wait until 6, 7, 10, or until that awful day when your child doesn’t want to be seen kissing you in public – or at home – at all.
It’s an infringement upon parental rights to subject Tom Brady to public mockery for kissing his son on the mouth at 11 years old. And it’s the height of cultural cluelessness to unleash more public condemnation for this than for the concerning number of Tom’s colleagues who are completely uninvolved in the lives of their families.
But it wasn’t just the kind and length of kiss that had the busybodies in media worked into a lather. When Jack Brady approaches his dad, they had this exchange:
“Oh, hello. I was wondering if I could check my fantasy team,” son Jack Brady says.
“What do I get?” his father replies. Jack leans over and kisses his father and is about to leave the room, while the massage therapist working on Tom Brady’s shoulder says, “You know Jack, everything comes with a cost, bud.” …
“I don’t think affection should ever be tied in with a favor,” said social worker and parenting expert Carolyn Meyer-Wartels.
Meyer-Wartels is a licensed clinical social worker and parenting expert. She said when it comes to physical touch, the message we send our children should be clear.
Indeed. The message the rest of us send to so-called experts like Carolyn should be clear as well: leave a good dad showing affection to his son alone, maam.
I’m not Tom Brady (obviously), but after this explosion of nonsense, I’d be pulling out of my documentary contract quicker than I could operate the two-minute drill.