Saturday, June 12, 2010


It started innocuously enough...I wished someone with whom I went to high school a safe journey home from an extended business trip to east our brief exchange of messages I thanked him for the kind things he said about my efforts in this reply he suggested that I write more about fatherhood....

Apparently its not that apparent that writing about fatherhood was what I have been attempting to do in the previous 299 posts. Actually...Joe did me a favor in that he caused me to pause and give some though to what have been doing as a dad and in this space. He always had this way of challenging you in ways you might not want to be challenged.

Fatherhood is who you are and what you do...I am trying and failing to make the word "fatherhood" into a verb but fatherhood is an action or at least a series of actions that determine whether you are a good father or something less and whether you are a father or a dad. I have a father and perhaps I needed one...but my kids need a dad and I have been struggling ever since they were born to be a good one.

As a dad I am in the business of raising future adults and in doing so its my job to raise them with a certain set of values and priorities which will help them be strong, kind, and loving people. Additionally, its also my job to equip them with the skills they will need to thrive and make sense of the wider world. I want my children to be happy and moral individuals who lead lives that make sense to them and who will be able to contribute to the greater good.

In this space I have written about a series of experiences and observations; about me personally, about the people in my life, about the world in which we live, and about my kids. As I think about it, it has also been a chronicle of my own efforts to decompartmentalize my own life and to live a life that makes sense. I have no idea if my efforts will succeed, but I can say that I have learned that attempts to wall off parts of one's life will ultimately lead to chaos and will eventually fail. We are the sum total of the parts of our lives and these parts need to fit together or they will fall into rubble.

So writing about food, playing catch, about a book my girlfriend gave me, about illegal immigration, or about my own struggles is writing about fatherhood. As is writing, not so obliquely, about the people, mostly women, who have influenced me most in how I "dad" today. These experiences, the influences in my life, and the people I know, make up who I am. And being a dad is who I am and what I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment