July 31, 2022- The teen boy was moaning and complaining that he could not take it anymore. The “it’ in question was the pain from an injury he had sustained the previous night, and which he was trying to tough-out. That was not working, and I asked a team mate to help me find a First Aid kit, which she brought me from the kitchen at Bellemont Baha’i School. I got out the appropriate materials and handed them to the boy’s stepfather, who was standing nearby. He gladly applied the dressing to the injured area, and the boy had a much better day.
I observed this man taking his parental responsibilities seriously, with all four of his stepchildren and the daughter he himself sired, a toddler who was delightful. Seeing him play with her, and be constantly guiding her to show good manners and respect for others, was a treasure. The girl already knows to share and to say please and thank you. She will also grow up strong and forthright, under his watchful eyes.
Fathering is more than a figurehead position and, like motherhood, never ends. My son is facing a plethora of challenges right now, and my place is to offer encouragement, support and belief in his ability to rise to them. If he falters, I will at least, as my own father once said, be there to catch him-even from a physical distance. One cannot deprive another of dignity, nor make decisions for that person-even one’s own child, after a certain age. Support, however, is the due of every soul who is facing own life with honour and effort.
Parenthood never really ends.