Fathers Feelings

Being a father is tough.

In a changing and challenging world the ways to be are no longer set in stone, accepted, and understood by all.

Fathers now have the freedom to express their feelings, to acknowledge their failings, to know they need to sometimes stand up and other times to sit and listen.

I believe my own father, Derek, Dad, took the first faltering family steps along this changing path. I don't think he liked it, in fact I know at times he absolutely loathed it and hankered for the clear road he had seen his own father travelling upon.

A road full of power, ego, violence, and rage. A road however lined with love and hidden moments of care and tenderness. A straight and narrow road with clear sign posts, an understood destination, and clearly marked milestones on the way.

It was at the age of 17 that I first realised the "Dad" was more than an honorific. It was a mindset, a way of being, and most importantly it was something you could see in the behaviour of men.

I was a typical (to my mind) angst ridden teenager and had taken up with a woman much older than myself. This caused my Mum pain at the time. My Dad took a walk to come and see me whilst I was staying at my girlfriends house and on that late summer afternoon, as he talked to me I got it. He was kind, he was understanding, and he was honest. 

He had strode the straight and narrow road, but he was taking many many sojourns on this new path of how to be a father.

Even before I was Dad with the birth of my amazing* kids I know that was the moment, in that calm sunny afternoon in Wales, that I stepped onto a new path of being a father.

I now must continue walking on the path of kindness, love, and understanding. But I am my father's son, and he was his. The old road may be in the far distance but I can still hear it, smell it, and I read about it in the statistics of New Zealand. 

But you know what, it's not really a "new path", it's a superhighway of Dads who've been on this road for a millennia, and therein lies the key - just ask and there's many to help guide, no-one need get lost, and no father needs to return to the old road.

To all the Dads, Happy Fathers Day.
A father and his two sons, who are now also Dads

* there aren't enough words in enough languages to express how I feel about my kids


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