Father’s Day Canadian Style
I am taking this opportunity to write about Father’s Day with the primary focus on the young men in my life who have become fathers and in the process, gifting me with six incredible grandsons. Two of these young men married my daughters. Of course, a father finds it difficult to give up his daughters into the care of another man. For me, it became a bit easier because in both cases, these men became my sons which meant that my daughters remained close to the heart in terms of association and physical presence. My son, the youngest of the three children, has remained close even though geographical distance grew as he followed his own family and career. I am blessed with my children.
These young fathers have blessed me with six grandsons, a grandfather’s dream. However, due to the vagaries of nature, I don’t have a grand-daughter to spoil as a princess. That means, I continue to keep my own daughters as princesses who have turned into queens in their own right. Like their mother, they are fierce and determined and very territorial when it comes to family.
Parenting is the central focus in each of the three families. As a father, it means a lot to me to see my children grow and mature and carry forward the belief in family first.
Being a father isn’t an easy thing. There is more to the role than simply supplying the sperm that is necessary to create new life. There is more to the role than simply supplying the dollars needed to financially support the family unit. We learn to be fathers by watching our own fathers, if we have the opportunity to do so, an opportunity that is not to be taken for granted as marriages end up in divorces, or fathers die, or fathers are so broken by life that they can’t function as fathers whether present or absent in the lives of their children.
I learned a lot from my own father on how to be and not be a father. He didn’t teach me consciously, but rather through simply how he acted in that role. Most of what he taught me through being my father was how not to be a father. Yet, there were a few things that he taught me that were of value, the skills of hammer and saw, how to see a finished product which would guide my hands through the work. The most vital lesson he taught me was that we are all wounded, that we all suffer and in turn hurt others. It was a lesson that has allowed me to be more compassionate with my children and accept them for who they really are rather than demanding that they be perfect people. That has allowed me to be comfortable around my incredible children and grandchildren knowing that I am as imperfect as any other man who has been graced with children. I am free to be authentically myself, warts and all.
Happy Father’s Day to all men who have fathered and have dared to take on the role of father in fact as well as by biology.