It takes a village . . . to go through all the mail from our parenting issue. Opinions varied widely, unlike the near-unanimous support for Tom Keane's argument for allowing legal immigrants to vote.
I read "The Daddy Track" (July 8) with interest, as I do believe that dads' - and particularly single dads' - contributions to the raising of children are often minimized or overlooked. However, a missing and sad aspect of all of this is the failure of adults to get along long enough with one another so that they may raise children as a team.
The article stated that "fathers now are competing more aggressively for custody and are winning cases." As a spokesperson for a father's rights organization, as a practicing family law attorney, and as someone who has spoken to literally hundreds (if not thousands) of divorced fathers, I cannot agree with this assessment. The overwhelming number of fathers who receive sole custody "win" it because the mother volunteered to the arrangement, not because they prevailed in family court.
RINALDO DEL GALLO III
Spokesperson The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition Pittsfield
Why does Anne Jarrell suggest that the rise in single fatherhood is due to economic bullying of women by men? If that were true, then the number of single dads would have been greater 15 or 20 years ago, when there was a bigger disparity between men's and women's incomes.
ALL TOO REAL
This is one of most valuable issues I have ever read. The material describes matters that are very real to our personal existence. I particularly enjoyed "Bedroom Window" (July 8) because it is honest, entertaining, and witty.
Loved "Bedroom Window." Humorous, but sadly accurate!
KAREN E. LYNN
Dr. W. Allan Walker says the choices parents make early on are critical ("Home Plate," July 8). I was a hippie "crunchy granola" mom. I raised my kids (now 30 and 34) on brown rice, vegetables, and homemade bread. We ate no meat. Today, my daughter has a son of her own, and her kitchen is stocked with sugar cereals, frozen French toast, and bologna. My son loves meat. When he first moved out, Kool-Aid was his drink of choice. You tell me if it really matters.
NO, YOU MAY NOT
I was appalled to read some of the advice in "Mother, May I?" (July 8). Since when is there "no way around" a coed sleepover? There is no need for parents to feel trapped in a situation they know is wrong. I also noticed your placement of gender-specific pronouns. It might have been accidental, but the "she" appeared as the daughter who was scared to stay home alone, visiting MySpace, and fighting a curfew. In contrast, the son gets an allowance and is "getting more grown-up" with a cellphone. You're only reinforcing the double standard of being permissive with a son and restrictive with a daughter.
Having just read about the obstacles facing adopted children in school ("Talking About Adoption," July 8), I question what the rest of us are expected to sacrifice in the face of political correctness. Many of us are families of immigrants, and it is quite an extraordinary feat to be able to find information on past generations. In that sense, we are similar to adopted children - so much of our past is unknown. The focus should be on the celebration of the family that we do know, and the stories of how they grew up.
ROCK THE VOTING DEBATE
In the 27 years that I have lived in the United States, Tom Keane was the first to make a case for my rights ("Perspective," July 8). As a native of Germany, I feel I have been a good "citizen" through my tireless involvement in higher education. But when the country had a choice between Al Gore and George W. Bush, I wasn't allowed to vote. I am almost certain that if legal aliens like myself were given that right, America would be the world's best friend and a leader in combating climate change.