The commercialized yearly celebration of fatherhood reminds the public at large that we all had one. Stories abound about types of fathers: present or absent, caring or not; about fathers for whom parenting came easily and those who never learned to connect.
Throughout most of human history, being a father was more about nature than nurture. Their non-involvement in child rearing was mostly due to family dynamics which divided duties based on sex. Children’s needs being mostly satisfied by their mother sent fathers to work as providers. This arrangement was not questioned until very recently as women demanded equal rights and when entering the workforce expected parenting duties to be shared.
I was born into a dual working professional family in which children were raised by nannies and neither parent was involved in their everyday needs.
My father spent time developing our cultural curiosity by taking us to the theatre, the opera, the museum and the cinema. He took us on trips to the mountains and the sea. My father read to us and introduced to the classics showing us how the world could be visited within the pages of a book. He showed us how to enjoy gardening and eating from earth’s bounty. We learned to love and care for animals which would mysteriously show up at our house. My father taught us that the richest person in the world is an educated person, that as long as we lived an honest life, as long as we were compassionate and caring, we would be amply rewarded.
I miss you Dad!