Early memories of my father are sparse, limited to times when he was home from work and usually working on a house project. As a very small child, I distinctly remember watching my father do woodworking projects, gardening, and also running a small business in addition to working full-time at his regular job with the phone company. Time spent with him one-on-one was rare unless it was helping with a work project. Dad never went on a family vacation with us. He really did not seem to mind simply working, rather than spending time doing family activities for fun.
My father has always been a tinkerer – literally. He loves to tinker with gadgets and build or fix things. He is very scientific in his endeavors. There was the rare occasion for family leisure time, such as when he took my older sister to see the Ice Capades – with a promise to take me the next year…but that never happened. I have always been stumped by this seeming preference for somewhat mechanical behavior rather than the nurturing and loving playfulness seen in some of my friends’ fathers.
So my thoughts go to why — and then my thoughts wander to what makes my father “tick” and what makes all fathers “tick” generally.
Is it a compelling need to provide, survive, and love their families? Could it simply be that they emulate how they saw their own fathers behave? I am sure the answer is unique and varies for each father based on their lived experiences. I may never know the answer to these questions but I can speculate and ponder.
What makes a father – a father?
Biologically it is obvious – but realistically – a father is more than a group of donated chromosomes. A father (to me) is the person who loves you, provides guidance, helps you develop as a person, supports you as you grow and learn – and nurtures you as you form into an adult. A father is one who gently (or sometimes blatantly) models for you the way to live your life by example — and sometimes it is also the way NOT to live your life — in some cases.
A father is not just the one who creates you but also the one who guides you in life.
This may be someone known to you as a “father figure” or Godfather and not necessarily your biological father – or it may be both. Sometimes the father in your life is a Father to all of us and works in collaboration with all father(s). To me, this is the best kind of Fathering for us all!
I AM the rays of the morning sun
I AM the cool feathery breeze felt as you run
I AM the mist blowing ‘cross your skin
I AM the warmth you feel within
I AM the mountains that run to the sea
I AM the birds that fly through the trees
I AM the creatures big and small
I AM within them one and all
I AM the oceans filled with life
I AM the skies and stars at night
I AM the deserts filled with sand
I AM all the things that make the land
I AM the morning, noon and night
I AM all that makes the world just right
I AM within things everywhere
I AM the one who always cares.
I AM what I AM and will always be
I AM the Father of all you see
I AM omnipresent literally
I AM the Father for eternity.
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