As fatherhood will be celebrated and appreciated this coming weekend (19 June) I thought it would be wise if I steal your attention for a minute and share these beautiful and moving words I just heard from a man who has, for the first time, fathered a son. Unfortunately, this new father is not married to the mother…long story! So now he worries about the distance between himself and his son. I write this blog with clear understanding that due to circumstances there are fatherless children and so many people are angered by so called distanced fathers who are later referred to as ‘deadbeat’ daddies, myself included. Surprisingly, that’s exactly what motivated me to write the blog at the first place – to unveil the ‘other side’ of the story. It is such stories that are kept silenced, unreported and untold most of the time in our society, which makes the truth half known.
Ok! Back to ‘happy father’s day’ mood…I was really taken aback by this man’s visions, dreams and sincere concerns about the future and well being of his son.
This is what he said:
“I wish I could be close enough to my son. In fact, I would like him to grow in my presence. That baby is my son, he looks more like me. I am worried about his safety, he is still very young to defend himself from harm – I should be there as his rock. My son needs me as his father. My son would like to have a role model, a mentor, a friend and he would find all of that in me. My son could have so much potential for all I know and I need to be there to show him how it is done. He could be an engineer, a lawyer or a successful businessman. I want my son to get the best education there is. As soon as he turns 12, he will be attending business seminars and taking notes with his dad. See I was neglected by my own father and I swear I am going to break that cycle with my son…”
As he was talking, it was as if I was hearing an inner voice of a parent in him. I mean that man wishes that he could spend everyday all day with his baby-boy…if only he could breast-feed him! There could be so many daddies out there who might be singing the same song but they cannot be heard. In some cases, as kids grow with no contacts from the ‘daddy’ they will hear only one song about their dad, it is the chorus that most mommies would sing to them – that connotes the irresponsibly, cold, deadbeat father. It is the same chorus that is spread throughout the globe about distanced fathers who never cared about whereabouts of their own children. As a result, we are made to believe that there are few good men in this world and those men are the ones that get married, have kids and look after them. See I was raised by a single mom, if you would ask me to define my parents I would tell you that my mom is the best and my father is a total opposite of the best. He was never there, he never cared – I would say. I understand why so many children would feel that way. A father who does not avail himself to his kid is as good as ‘dead’ to that kid’s mind.
I wish that fathers do get courage to deliver such words (like the ones I’ve quoted above) to the ears of their own sons/daughters because really if they come from the bottom of the heart, then let them be heard. It can be such a sad story if this new dad I have quoted does not deliver the same message to the son’s ears. In other words, if this dad disappears completely from the life of his son then these words too would disappear as if they were never uttered.
Having said that, let me remind you that in this blog, my intentions were to reveal the ‘unknown’ or should I say ‘untold’ story of a loving yet distanced father to his child. Perhaps it is stories of this kind that can bring emancipation to a heavy loaded mind that negates all that falls under an umbrella category of ‘distanced’ dads.