Last week was Father’s Day, a day you can only appreciate as you get older. Perhaps when you are closer to being a Dad yourself. I can only imagine this will take on a whole new meaning this time next year when I am officially and legally responsible for a life.
As a kid I don’t remember Dad, or Mum for that matter, make a big deal about this day. Perhaps because it was more of a secular occasion and we didn’t feel we needed to join in on the Godless Heathen’s festival of Consumerism. I mean if it isn’t a day so shops can sell you more stuff you don’t really need (what man requires more socks/underwear/tools than there are days of the week?), then what is it? Good question.
I think it is a time to reflect on one of the major influences on a Human life- the male component of the parental unit. Whether present or absent, the father figure continually proves to be a key influences in the development of happy,healthy adjusted members of society. I have read three separate pieces this week citing research relating to the positive influence of active and present fathers on their children, and how it affects the adults they become. The one that hit me the hardest was the anecdote of a Prison Officer who observed they were inundated with requests from prisoners for cards come Mother’s Day, but only a handful of the same requests come Father’s Day. It seems everyone does have a Mother, but unfortunately not a Father.
Perhaps the greatest thing a Man can do is raise up another Man willing to do the same. The self-sacrifice needed to be an effective parent is often nothing short of amazing. Self-sacrifice that stays, and doesn’t run away. That mans up and takes responsibility for their own. If everyone took on this responsibility of bringing up adjusted and effective humans, maybe this world would be a bit better place.
One afternoon I got a surprise email in my inbox from my Dad. He’s a quite, dedicated and loving man. An excellent Father who has give me everything he could. It was a collection of quotes about Fatherhood that he wanted to pass onto me before I became a Dad. A bit ho-hum sure. Who hasn’t forwarded on an email that was witty or clever and hoped that in someway it would reflect well on the sender. But it was more than that. He had selected from all these quotes the one that appealed to him. From a Man who doesn’t say much, this said alot. It was… “Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys”.
I was once a small boy, who became a big man (6'3 is above average!) capable of caring for another small future little man (?) because of that Bigger Man…my Dad.
Happy Fathers Day Dad!