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.

2 comments :

  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.

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