Paternity and Patriarchy

June 21, 2015, Monroe, WA-  I will continue with my photoblogs and Road to 65, upon getting these thoughts out.  Today was my second Father’s Day with no father figure.  Every man who is older than I am, is now a senior peer- good for some advice, while not one who has emotional investment in my well-being.

I am now at the patriarchal stage of life.  This is the natural order of things, and something one ought to treasure- not as an authority figure, but as one who is a trusted mentor.  I am the eldest of my parents’ children, and though I have hardly always been the wisest, I feel responsible for my siblings, nieces and nephews, as well as for my son- though each and every one of them is doing just fine without my daily input.

A father is responsible for ALL his children.  Some time ago, a man said- “Well, easy for you to say.  You have one son and no daughters.”  That is happenstance.  Had I a household of nine or ten, it’d be the same. Every child matters- and fathers are needed by both genders of offspring.  I would dare say, further, that the more challenged a child is, the more he or she needs both parents to be actively involved in his or her life.

I have ached today, at reading some accounts by women who feel that they have no close bond with their father.  I have read posts by women who suffer, seeing that the father of their child has only a fleeting connection to that child- and the child in question is just as likely to be a boy, as to be a girl. Every child matters.

I was, and am, far from a perfect parent, and very much doubt that perfection exists in this aspect of our lives.  That does not excuse anyone from putting their best foot forward.  Both of my parents did their level best with their roles,as they understood those roles.  They knew parenthood to be their most important job.  This awareness was passed along to us, and we, in turn, have passed it along to our children.  My nieces and nephews are doing a fine job, in their turn.  I have observed Aram, in his moments as a surrogate parent, and he will do just fine, when the time comes.

My middle brother once said, “Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a Daddy.”  This is all too true- but it should not be!  A child should be able to follow the natural inclination to call his father “Dada”, “Papa”, “Dad”.  There will never be a time when that title, (first used by Aram towards me, when he was just shy of two and sang a song that he made up, on that very special Father’s Day of 1990), will not be the greatest I’ve ever held.

May the day come when each parent can be honoured on their given day, and every day, in all honesty, by each of their children.

9 thoughts on “Paternity and Patriarchy

  1. Gary — despite the fact that you have no father figure at this time, this is a nice tribute to your parents, and to your understanding of your role as dad! This is your day — I hope it’s been a happy one!


    • It has been good. I was led to exactly where I need to be- a quiet place on the edge of a small, but thriving town in central Washington. Having one of my favourite meals, lasagna with meat sauce, was a plus.


      • So you’re back from Alaska now? Central Washington must be hot by now — I hope you’ll blog about where you were. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas lived in Central Washington, and wrote some wonderful books about that part of the world! I’m glad you had a good Father’s Day, even though Aram wasn’t with you!


  2. Father’s Day can be a difficult time for many, as can be picking out Father’s Day cards that are appropriate to the situation. I meant to visit your Facebook to wish you a happy Father’s day, but apparently something distracted me. In any case, I hope it was a fine one, however it was spent.


  3. Necessary words, thank you. Pleased that you had a good day. One of my children left her FB account as it was becoming more difficult for her to navigate the rough waters of a second Fathers Day without hers. See all the celebrations or postings from her peers to their dads just cut too deep. Don’t blame her much. Relationships can be complicated between parents and children, and for those who either have lost theirs or had very complicated and rocky relationships, this time can be painful at best. God speed the day when each parent loves and nurtures each child, no matter how that relationship came to be.


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