Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Not Fit to Mother

I read yesterday that, on Monday, a judge in Southern California, in a surprise move, awarded custody of Britney Spears' and Kevin Federline's children to Federline. Originally, the couple had shared custody, but in a surprise move, in response to a motion by Federline's attorney, the judge called a closed hearing on Monday, and revoked Spears' custody rights. Spears filed a motion, which was heard in court today, seeking a reversal of the order; the motion was denied, although the judge did allow Spears supervised visitation rights, and will reevaluate the custody situation at the end of October.

According to Reuters:

"Since her split from Federline last November, Spears has drawn a steady stream of headlines for erratic behavior that has included club-hopping without panties, shaving her head bald, raging at a car with an umbrella and checking into and out of rehab."


And:

"Adding to her legal woes, she was charged days later with leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license after police said she smashed into another car in a parking lot."


I really have absolutely no interest whatsoever in most celebrities and their various (often self-imposed) woes. But this one interested me, in that my perception was that Kevin Federline was hardly a paternal role model. How terrible a mother must Spears be for the court to revoke her custody? Obviously, given the quotes above, she's not much of a role model herself. In fact, it seems she's on a fast downward spiral.

The surprising fact, though, is that it appears that Federline might actually be a semi-decent father (that is, he's a far better parental role model than is his ex-wife). In fact, after reading a bit about Spears as a parent, I'm surprised that she even cares to have any custody whatsoever. We all, I think, recall her driving with her first child sitting on her lap (no car seat; not even a seatbelt). And the time she "dropped" her son. But those aren't the things I'm talking about.

The most telling thing I read was a note from last month, after Spears and Federline were divorced. Both of their children's birthdays were in early September. Their birthday party (Jayden's first birthday, Sean's second), on September 9, was a Cars themed family affair, with the traditional cake, ice cream and balloons. Spears though? She was attending the Video Music Awards in Las Vegas (pointless, I think, in that her chances of winning anything were, at best, slim). It says much about her, as a parent, that she chose to attend a music industry fete instead of her children's birthday party.

And what of Federline? Is he father material? I'll admit that he's probably not at the top of my list of role models. But, despite the various piercings, the tattoos, the shaved head and-Oh!-that terribly grating album, he doesn't seem to be a bad guy! He doesn't appear to-surprise-have a criminal record (more than can be said for his ex-wife); he seems to be comparatively stable (that is, he's never been in rehab-in sharp contrast to his ex-wife's two-or three-stints); he's surprisingly grounded (those who he's worked with-when he is given opportunity to work-say he's professional, enjoyable, and reasonably talented. Conversely, his ex-wife appears to think the world revolves around her); he wears underwear (or, if he doesn't, he doesn't insist on repeatedly showing the rest of us-enough said); and he actually appears to care for his children (whereas his ex-wife doesn't appear to even care to be with them-as long as Federline doesn't have them).

I may be reading much more into this than I should, but I'm of the firm opinion that, to whom much is given, much is required. Spears started her career as a no-name, naive-but principled-kid with a little talent. She skyrocketed to fame (and fortune), and has since done everything within her power to prove that money and celebrity lead to total and complete ruin. She is nice girl-turned-naughty; polite-turned-spoiled; clean living-turned-destructively addicted; demure-turned-promiscuous; bright-eyed-turned-haunted. Oh, and talented-turned-washed up.

I say all that to say this: Britney-you'll never find happiness where you're looking. The very things you're forsaking in your search are the things that will bring you what you're looking for. And, for that, I have to say, I think the judge got it right. Because, while he might not have the money, talent, career, homes or cars that Britney does, his rough-and-tumble upbringing taught him what is important. And that's all you need to be a good parent.

Figure it out, Britney, before it's too late.

1 comment:

Steffanie Russ said...

So many people in this world have their priorities in such a jumbled mess! It's no wonder that children raised up today are such hoodlums; in many cases it's the parent's fault. Maybe she should look up the word "parent" in the dictionary. I hope she doesn't have that word anywhere on any of her profiles. Oh well, I'll stop gabbing, from what I've heard, I think the judge did right too.