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The Fundamental of Parenthood: Truth

Welcome to Fatherhood Friday just days before Father’s Day.  If you have a few moments, check out some of the other great posts over at Dad Blogs today.  And if you haven’t already, take a peek at my latest Armed and Fatherly…

Father’s Day is nearly upon us, and as this is the first where I actually can count myself among the honorees in addition to my duties as honorer, the day holds a good deal of significance to me.  And it has caused me to reflect on what parenthood means to me, and more importantly what I believe my basic tenets of fatherhood entail.  At the core of these is my belief that we as parents have a imperative responsibility to be truthful to our children, despite the personal consequences that might befall ourselves, or cause us to lose respect in these eyes of our kids. But in particular, I believe that no parent has the right to color the opinion of the other parent in the eyes of their children.

I have a friend who was married once before, and had several children with his first wife. He adored his kids, and spent their formative years as a strong presence in their life. Somewhere along the way, the marriage soured as marriages can do, and his wife began turning his girls against him. Eventually she shut off all contact for him to them, and basically drilled into them that he wanted out of their lives. They are now under the impression that he walked out on them, when quite frankly the opposite is true.

He still lives in the same area as his girls, who are all grown up now and have kids of their own. He has inadvertently run across them during the mundanities of existence, but they refuse to even acknowledge him. Imagine the pain of seeing your children but having them spurn your existence having done nothing to warrant it. Imagine seeing children and wondering if you are their grandfather, and that they have no knowledge of your existence.

My friend is a quiet, unassuming man who is always willing to help me out of whatever mess I’ve gotten myself into.  He;s remarried now to a wonderful woman, and inherited three older kids that adore him and the love that he brings to their family.  Things are going pretty well for him now, but his kids are always in the back of his mind somewhere.  Frankly,  he doesn’t deserve the fate that has befallen him – he doesn’t deserve the consequences of someone else’s agenda, and the decades of emotional pain that followed it. It angers me because I know it, and there’s little I can do about it.

But maybe these words may ring true for you. If you are estranged from your father this Father’s Day because of what someone told you rather than what you experienced yourself, consider the possibility that everything you’ve been told is a lie. Reach out, and reconnect with someone that was once an integral part of your life, and judge for yourself what kind of a human being he is. You may be surprised at what you find.

- MWF -

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  • DCUrbanDad

    Wow, that’s tough. Makes me realize how blessed I truly am. I cannot imagine the pain he is experiencing. No one deserves that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Smallprint

    Hey – thanks for this. That must be awful. Sounds like great advice.