Don’s Diary ( Father’s Day )
Father’s Day came and went as usual on the first Sunday in September. Whilst I appreciated the contact made by my children, it was for me as usual a non-event because almost every day for me is in one way or another is a father’s day. However I think about fatherhood.
My thoughts are purely anecdotal, but I make no apologies because so much is said and proposed today about families, and thus fathers, which are whims and political ploys Furthermore, I am only the father of 5 sons with 11 grandchildren, regrettably no daughters, so I have to rely on observations of others and a long life of relatively wide experience.
I find my role as a father inseparable from my role as the husband of my best mate and partner of 60 years, the mother of our children. It is a very “traditional” family, my wife bearing the children, nurturing them in their early years and loving them as only a natural mother can do. She also made a tremendous contribution out of necessity as a breadwinner when the children were quite young. I tried to complement that loving role and focused my efforts with mixed success on being a role model, preparing them for the world and being the principal breadwinner. I have never been called “just a sperm donor”, a modern feminist jibe.
My advice, from observing my friends circumstances is to expect nothing from your children. There is no such thing as payback time. If you get support you are fortunate. Despite guidance and efforts they will go their own ways which is good, but the results can be outstanding or very disappointing. A father can over spend and over fund his children to no avail. Children with poor social skills and attitudes will be likely to be failures in life – those who have integrity, work hard and have good attitudes will probably excel in any circumstances. Money spent, unless it is earned by the children, will unlikely to be appreciated. Some children will age but never grow up to reach maturity. There are likely to be continual demands on you through your whole life. You can make it all look to easy for some of them. “It is a wise father that knows his own child”. William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Merchant of Venice.
I worry about the alternatives to a “traditional” family: where do sons see every day how a husband should treat a woman with love and respect? Where do daughters see how a mature woman should behave and treat her husband? Where do the children see how the synergy of the wife and husband team works for the good of the children? Unless the father is a useful member of society as we Freemasons say, work and are self-sufficient, the lack of a suitable role model is likely lead to generational unemployment.
"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." Mark Twain (1835–1910) However, some do not even then appreciate their father’s wisdom until they have children who, when they leave school, are not qualified to further their education, are ill equipped to work, have a poor attitude and are not prepared for the world. Parents are likely to be over 50 years by this time and it is usually too late.
Yours fraternally ,