Fathers Day Reflection

Its a manufactured holiday. Yay for Grads and Dads! You can wish people a “Happy Fathers” day and a few month earlier even wish them fathers a “Happy Super Bowl!” Yes, I was out buying groceries and had a few folks wish me a “Happy Super Bowl”- why the hell is that an appropriate greeting?

Anyway, I was seeing all the posts on Father’s Day, getting all sorts of gushy, but realized that it must suck to see all this public display of love of Father for

  1. 1) folks who lost their father, especially recently;
  2. 2) folks who didn’t have good experiences with their father;
  3. 3) folks who don’t know their father.

I guess thats one of the problems when you manufacture holidays, it excludes someone regardless of the intent. (But aren’t all holidays manufactured?- The struggle with over thinking!)

One of the cooler things about reading a crap load of books is that after a certain number of books you get to see patterns developing, and I for one was particularly interested in father-child relationships out of a desire to ascertain the sort of father-child relationship I would strive to avoid in the future.

I decided to put together some experts from the books I read to give you all a good sampling of relationships:

#FathersDay Wow, that was some pretty heavy stuff- “He would occasionally turn his head in the breeze and say, ‘I love you, pal.” Only as an adult did I come to realize what it was that made me uneasy about my father’s declaration. What I heard was not the simple statement of his affection but the desperate need for appreciation behind his words. I didn’t want my father to be desperate.

Sometimes I can feel a similar yearning for validation when I tell my own son that I love him. To place the burden of emotional bolstering on a child is unreasonable and confusing,”

“Only later did I come to realize that his anger rose form his fear- fear that he wouldn’t be able to care for his family, fear that he would never be who he felt he should be as a man, fears I now I understand.”

“‘Dad I feel like there’s a distance between me and there rest of the world.’” His clear insight and simple articulateness shocked me, then saddened me and made me fear for him. When my reflexive reactions subsided, I relaxed and identified with him.

‘i’ve laws felt the same way,” I told him. I wasn’t sure what else to say. “But it’s part of what makes me me, so it’s okay. You know what I mean?’ I said.”

“My son was quite for a moment. ‘Yeah,’ he said, and then surprised me by reaching out and hugging me close.”

Alfred Thayer Mahan- Posterity, Letters of Great Americans to Their Children by Dorie McCullough Lawson

Rigoberta Menchu, “I, Rigoberta Menchu”

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