When I was delivered, the doctor passed me straight into my dad’s waiting arms, and they have held me ever since.
On this September date, we are told to celebrate the fathers in our lives, the men who have traditionally “sat at the head of the table”, brought home the bacon, and selflessly provided for, protected, disciplined, and inspired us. The tribal elders and leaders that (appear to be) a dying breed, at least in the world as we've known it over the past four years.
Regardless of what color collar they wore to work, for years these men have happily swapped their business tasks for barbecue tongs, and never dropped the ball when it came to family responsibilities. Call me old-fashioned, but I admire the classical man for what he brings to the family dynamic. I'm not a feminist, meaning, I know full well the women's lib movement was a psyop concocted deliberately to erode the family unit, not nourish it. Men and women were never designed to be "equal" because that would make them interchangeable; which they are not. Both the male and the female energies complement one another, which removes the need to be equal in power, function, or status. That concept stems from the patriarchal mindset and the desire to divide and conquer.
As a society, we have become experts at doing as we are told, at falling in line and following suit just because some external authority says so, and today I believe is no different. As with Mother’s Day, the acknowledgment of fathers around the world shouldn’t be reserved to just one day of picnics and Hallmark cards aimed at making men feel included and seen, and yet this is what we do, in droves and in earnest, almost like a warped rite of passage.
Are we subconsciously trying to prove our love through highlighting his importance?
Does saying, “I love you Dad”, have greater meaning on an allocated day? Of course not, and yet in the same way we attract critique if we forget an anniversary, or miss a birthday cue, we (perhaps unconsciously) measure our commitment by how much we spend or how much effort we put into this one day of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if most men secretly dread this day as many women do, because it reminds them of past pains such as losing a loved one, not being able to conceive, the dad that never shows up (or that abandoned them at birth), or depressed because they are yet to find the “man or woman of their dreams”. And what about the families who have lost their beloved dads to accident or illness, having to get through the day feigning "we're okay", when inside, they are anything but? We can often get carried away with sentiment, however well-intentioned, without pausing to consider the appropriateness of certain festivities for those perhaps not as enamored with commercialism as ourselves.
There is also the issue of familial abuse, disinterest, and neglect.
Going by statistics, it’s obvious in a lot of cases that any man can “father” a child, but very few deserve the title of “dad”. Being a dad takes work, which sadly, not every man is interested in, and it’s the same for women. Just because a woman has a womb, doesn’t automatically make her predisposed to being “clucky” or maternal. There are just as many "questionable" female role models as there are male, and these people are, for the most part, blissfully unaware that their own unresolved childhood trauma is a contributing factor in the creation of a very damaged and disconnected next generation. In other words, not everyone can, or should be, a parent.
Perhaps a solution is to start making it a conscious, daily practice to honor our fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers, uncles, and partners, and stop reserving family communion for special events only.
Naturally, the patriarchal structures want us to fall in line and follow suit with their dictating when, where and how we show affection to the role models in our lives, because that empowers them and helps them maintain control, so maybe that fact alone, is reason enough to break free from their mold and start moving in a different direction?
I always regard the past as a potent teacher and every experience I have navigated thus far, as a steppingstone to a new and higher version of myself, so it is in this spirit that I acknowledge the “men of old” today, these being the men with strong minds, courageous hearts, and to be frank, the balls to hold the line no matter what society dictates.
I bow to all the single dads, widowed dads, stepdads, granddads, and all the other expressions of “dads by default”, the divine masculines that refuse to be manipulated by social media or Big Brother, and who uphold “the old school” for no other reason than because it’s just who they are.
And to be crystal clear, this doesn’t include those with “I support covid/climate change/the voice/transkids” logos around their profile pictures. I’m talking about real men, the blokes with real gumption and a true grip on reality.
These are the men, the dads, the warrior souls, that I salute today, and every day.
That’s you, Dad. I love you.