Happy Father’s Day.
It just occurred to me that I’ve never written a blog post on Father’s Day, or at least I’m pretty sure I didn’t. As I write this, I’m visiting my Mom to keep her company as I do. She will be 79 in October, and then 80 the next year, and that fact seems to go through her mind a lot of late. So, I’m here – as much as she forgets at times – to be her son.
But she’s also been a dad too, over the years, as much as a woman can be. She and my father separated when I was five and divorced the next year. For reasons I will not go into here, except to say that I’m emotionally sensitive to a physically-harmful level, that pretty much saved my life.
Being a father is to see the World from a man’s point of view, as expressed to a child. It’s to encourage a young man to stand up for himself, be a leader, and woo the woman he wants with respect and without fear. Everyone can be a father, and while the best way is to, well, be the father of a child, you can be that just by remembering to treat kids, even the one’s you don’t have any family jurisdiction over, with the love and respect and firmness they deserve and want.
I remember riding BART one day, and some kids were walking through and stopped and decided they would be rowdy. I was in a terrible mood, and so I said to them “Can you please understand I’ve had a hard day?” They stopped and sat down. And I think they did that because as much as they were at play, they actually liked that an adult took time to politely make a request of them. It occurred to me then, that type of person was not as prevalent in the World. That kind was replaced by the fearful kind. The people who think “I’d better not say anything because I’ll get harmed.”
Fear is not in the lexicon of any father I have ever known. And fear is not something a kid expects from a father. Be that person. Not afraid to talk and not afraid to provide direction but always able to do so with love and care.
Happy Father’s Day.