On Fathers Day 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011
In my life I have had the experience of being fatherless and having many fathers. When Dale, my mother's third husband, passed on, I remember thinking, 'All my fathers are gone'. This thought gave me pause and made me reflect on what fatherhood was. Which isn't to say I hadn't spent time thinking about it, having spent most of the nineties trying to figure out this whole father thing1

I had four fathers and I took something from all of them. My biological father, who died when I was a baby, exists largely as a ghost filled with memories from those who knew him. What I take from those stories was that he was an honorable man and that his words were never chosen lightly.

Lloyd, who is my Dad and perhaps the only dad I ever had, taught me creative passion. Never a constantly employed man, when Dad found something that challenged his creative muscles, he threw himself into it wholeheartedly.

Dale, who came into my life when I was thirteen, taught me that trust is earned. Lon, my father-in-law taught me that we are judged by our actions, not our intentions. All these things were never taught directly, only by example. I always felt as if I was kept arms length. That a man doesn't cry. He sucks it up and goes on. That showing overt love was not manly. So, What does all that mean? What did I really learn?

Being a father is simple. Just love your children. How do you do that? It's more than cuddles, tuck-ins and tickles. It means doing things with them. I included my children in my life, while my fathers excluded me from theirs.

Twenty four years ago was my own first official Fathers Day and every day since has been a mixture of joy, wonder, regrets and sadness. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Whether it was sitting in the grandstands and watching Jim Fuyrk win his US Open championship on Fathers Day. Driving through the Arizona desert in a Mustang convertible. Enjoying a pasty while sitting on a park bench in York. Those days were fun, but so were the simple things like 'Boys Night' and living room 'wrassling'. Sitting around a fire playing the story game and hiking along the Bear River in the Uintas while camping. All those things taught me how to be a dad, to just love all three of my boys and be there with them.

1.) As I have noted before, I spent a lot of time in the mens movement, most of which, I have since concluded, is hogwash. I do still ascribe the idea of the Mature Masculine. I highly recommend that any man or anyone who is raising a boy read Robert Moore & Douglass Gillette's 'King, Warrior, Magician, Lover'. While I am not a Jungian per se, this book taught me a lot about breaking free of the immature masculine and the journey to the mature part of me.


  1. you had good values taught but I agree, most important is love and being with them! Some of my happiest memories comes from doing stuff with my parents.


We allow anonymous comments as long as they comply with our commenting policies. Any comments not meeting our standards will be deleted by the management.

Share This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...