Father’s Day – Missing Dads

My Father Taking Me Everywhere

Father’s Day somehow carries an edge of sadness for me.  I have the greatest father in the world.  He is quite old (but thankfully still around) and struggles with a variety of serious illnesses.  None of these ever weakens his “fatherliness”, that is, his unwavering, (crazily) uncritical, and unconditional love and support.

I’m conscious now of being very very lucky.  The edge of sadness comes…well, partly memories of teenagerdom, when I was not so conscious of my good luck.  (Though my father has certainly never held any of those snarly rebellions against me, I hate to think of causing him past pain.)

Then there’s the fact that, with job and immediate family demands and the geographic dispersal of modern day life,  I don’t get to see my father as much as I’d like.

But part of the sadness is my sense of how unusual my luck is; how many children today don’t have the gift of a present, loving, self-sacrificing father.

The absence of a daily father is a multi-whammied loss.  Apart from the  absence of the particular person, there’s the additional emotional, physical and financial stress on the mother or grandmother, faced with a huge amount for one person to do alone.  A successful single parent of young children, even if armed with family support, must be willing to sacrifice quite a bit of their separate personhood (the part of them that is not primarily parent) in order to fully play a solo role.

Yes, I know that even in two-parent families, there may be one primary caretaker, who may be as overwhelmed as a single parent.  I also know that sometimes familial stress may be reduced by the absence of father, especially an uncommitted, or difficult, or troubled father–I’ve just finished the Steig Larsson The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, after all, in which father figures are not painted in the most flattering light.  I can well understand that a house led by just one parent may have a peacefulness that is uncommon in a house run by a couple.   (And I’m not making any comment, or even comparison, here about the differences of families with fathers over families with same-sex parents, etc.)  I’m just sorry that so many kids today don’t have what has been so important to me personally–a Dad.

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One Comment on “Father’s Day – Missing Dads”

  1. […] ManicDDaily At a meeting place (not interface) of stress, creativity, and elephants. « Father’s Day – Missing Dads […]

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