Sunday, June 17, 2012

fatherhood misunderstood

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most
is soap-on-a-rope."
--Bill Cosby--

If you are a father, today is your day! Get ready to celebrate! Clear some space for the cards and gifts your family has prepared for you--your reward for going off to work every day, for scrimping and saving, for keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table.

For teaching your children, for playing with them, and for sharing your stories with them.

"A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be."
--Frank A. Clark--

For your bravery--the spiders you kill and the mice you banish, the dark shadows and strange noises you confront in the night.

For mustering a sense of humor when there is nothing to smile about.

For making the sacrifices no one sees.

And...for keeping stuff all bottled up inside.

For the wisdom you impart, for the trust you instill, for the rock of safety you represent...this day is for you.

Or not.

Because, maybe you didn't get it right. Perhaps your marriage failed, and your children have turned away...or been taken away...from you. Perhaps you lost your job...or your house...and a sense of failure stalks you like a hungry lion.

Perhaps your childhood demons have returned to haunt your own children. Maybe you found refuge in drink, or release in violence.

Perhaps you feel unneeded or unwanted. 

And you thought nobody noticed!

And what if you have lost your own father? What if you are a father who has lost a child?
"Grief is the price we pay for love."
--Queen Elizabeth II--

Who will remember you today? What does Father's Day mean to you? How will you celebrate the day?

Today I will remember my father--all he did and all he failed to do, what I knew of him and the secrets I believe he took to his grave, the times I cherish and some I prefer to forget.

Because this is the thing: He didn't know how important he was to me in my young life--the things he did for our family and the things he failed to do, the words he spoke and the silence he kept in his heart. The love that went unnoticed and the longings, unfulfilled.

If he were here today, I would forego the soap-on-a-rope, the shiny new golf balls, and the expensive silk ties.

I would tell him that I loved him because of who he was...and that I loved him inspite of who he was.

That I love him still.
"The most important thing a father can do for his children
is to love their mother."
--Rev Theodore Hesburgh--
"IT" happened again...and I'll tell you about it next week.

ps.: I found THE PERFECT card for my husband, the father of my children, this year!!


  1. That last quote is what has stuck with me the most. It is my favorite of all time regarding family, and it was what helped me to decide that my first marriage, the one to their father, was not what was really good for the boys. He didn't love me... and therefore, they would have no idea how to love their wife, or mother of their children if I didn't give them an example.

    Excellent, EXCELLENT post.

  2. I miss my father all the time even after losing him 19 years ago. There are many things I wish I could have told him.

  3. Juli--Thanks so much! I loved the tribute you wrote to your husband today, too. Dad's don't have to be PERFECT...they just have to be THERE.

    Susan--It's been 27 years for me. My dad was my skiing, tennis, and golf partner, and he worshipped my mother.

  4. Great post, I really like your blog! :)