Archive for the ‘fathers and sons’ tag
I am taking this opportunity to write about Father’s Day with the primary focus on the young men in my life who have become fathers and in the process, gifting me with six incredible grandsons. Two of these young men married my daughters. Of course, a father finds it difficult to give up his daughters into the care of another man. For me, it became a bit easier because in both cases, these men became my sons which meant that my daughters remained close to the heart in terms of association and physical presence. My son, the youngest of the three children, has remained close even though geographical distance grew as he followed his own family and career. I am blessed with my children.
These young fathers have blessed me with six grandsons, a grandfather’s dream. However, due to the vagaries of nature, I don’t have a grand-daughter to spoil as a princess. That means, I continue to keep my own daughters as princesses who have turned into queens in their own right. Like their mother, they are fierce and determined and very territorial when it comes to family.
Parenting is the central focus in each of the three families. As a father, it means a lot to me to see my children grow and mature and carry forward the belief in family first.
Being a father isn’t an easy thing. There is more to the role than simply supplying the sperm that is necessary to create new life. There is more to the role than simply supplying the dollars needed to financially support the family unit. We learn to be fathers by watching our own fathers, if we have the opportunity to do so, an opportunity that is not to be taken for granted as marriages end up in divorces, or fathers die, or fathers are so broken by life that they can’t function as fathers whether present or absent in the lives of their children.
I learned a lot from my own father on how to be and not be a father. He didn’t teach me consciously, but rather through simply how he acted in that role. Most of what he taught me through being my father was how not to be a father. Yet, there were a few things that he taught me that were of value, the skills of hammer and saw, how to see a finished product which would guide my hands through the work. The most vital lesson he taught me was that we are all wounded, that we all suffer and in turn hurt others. It was a lesson that has allowed me to be more compassionate with my children and accept them for who they really are rather than demanding that they be perfect people. That has allowed me to be comfortable around my incredible children and grandchildren knowing that I am as imperfect as any other man who has been graced with children. I am free to be authentically myself, warts and all.
Happy Father’s Day to all men who have fathered and have dared to take on the role of father in fact as well as by biology.
It isn’t often that I am able to take a photo out of the window of a plane that is actually worth keeping. this is far from a quality photo, but it has a certain value for me. I took it as we were flying over Calgary, circling for our approach for a landing as we returned to Canada. Sunset talks about an ending to a day. For me, this spoke about an ending to the time in Mayan Mexico, the end of yet another part of my journey. As always, endings are about losses with the apprehension that the future, the unknown might hold a harder journey ahead.
The feelings within since landing in Canada have been magnified by a return to conditions that require medications for allergies. I resisted taking them until this morning and watched as my head began to close down, disappear into a dense fog that reduced vision to a narrow focus as if wearing blinders. Queasiness and apprehension and foreboding. I have returned but don’t know if I can really return or just visit with a fractured persona which persuades others that I have returned and life will go on as it has always gone on, go on with no indications that the world has changed.
I returned to learn that I will be grandfather again in the fall, this time my son will became a father. His world is also changing. The time spent with my son was like time spent in sunshine, a time of promise and shared stories. I listened to his dreams of a different place, connection with history, a journey of discovery. The father-son bond is vital and real. Of all the family and extended family, it is only with him that I can tell my story fully with a sense of full acceptance. With the rest, it is more about limiting exposure to the fullness of who is this person they have come to know over the years and decades.
How well can we get to know each other when we struggle to know our “self”? That isn’t always important. It is not the depth of knowledge of other, but more about a curiousity of the “other” without the need to attach projections in order to “fit” the “other” into relationship. It is more about being open to discovery, bit by bit of who this “other” is. Unconditional acceptance of other.