Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I missed being home for FATHERS DAY this year, having recently flown back to Australia for family birthday celebrations and a much looked-forward catch-up with family, old and new friends. A FABULOUS time! I assisted my mindset preparations by getting into Ruth Park's book2 of her autobiography ~ "Fishing in the Styx". Single and in her early twenties, Ruth writes of her adjustment to life once she arrives in Sydney and is speedily married, all in the early days of WW2. Here's a quick 'taste'.
"Like most young couples my husband and I spent the first months of marriage trying diligently to change each other in both subtle and explosive ways. D'Arcy said I required him to become a person half way between my father and Gary Cooper, and he was damned if he would. He did not want much; only that I should transmute quick smart into someone his mother would tolerate if not like. Like so many sons of alcoholics he was very protective of his mother and longed for her to be happy with his choice of wife. Still, our affection was such, and remained so steadfast, that very shortly we both accepted the exasperating for the sake of the good, which was manifold."
Ruth and D'Arcy had very different fathers.
My intention in this post is to put up some quotes written by fathers. Some speak of fatherhood, others contain humour and the rest, what they judge as important.
Hope it was a happy FATHERS DAY at your house this year
"A father carries pictures where his wallet used to be"
I love this one and hopefully it is true for you if you are a father - your focus of what is important has decidedly shifted, rather than the other possibility that fatherhood has brought you poverty.
"I cannot understand how I managed to cope without getting the cuddles this many times a day."
Russell Crowe on unconditional love.
Great to read of a dad expressing a real benefit he personally has found in being a father.
"I've made a lot of mistakes in life - many in parenting. I've also learned a lot by being a dad, probably more than I have learned from any other area in life."
Cole Ruddick, a solo dad.
An honest and realistic comment on being a parent. We all make and continue to make "mistakes", and hopefully like Cole find parenting a source that regularly enriches our lives.
"It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping"
(Could only find a dad and daughter supermarket photo, no clothes shopping photos) I'm sure all dads don't find shopping with their daughter a difficulty, but John's encouragement to get involved in the child's life you don't automatically connect with, is a wise thing.
"Cultivate your own capabilities, your own style. Appreciate the members of your family for who they are, even though their outlook or style may be miles different from yours. Rabbits don't fly. Eagles don't swim. Ducks look funny trying to climb. Squirrels don't have feathers. Stop comparing. There's plenty of room in the forest."
I love the perspective here, to identify who and what you are and then to do the same for each person in your family. Just because we may share a common surname, doesn't mean our bent, passions and approach will be similar. So identify what each person is. Then "appreciate" each for who they are, and finally urge them to "cultivate" themselves.
"It has taught me that there is no one moment that is frozen in time. There is no better example than to watch four kids grow up. For instance, I'm not feeling particularly steady right now, but this is not going to last for more than a couple of minutes. Same with raising kids. There are no moments you have frozen in amber. It's moving, it's changing, so appreciate what's good about right now and be ready for what's next."
Michael J Fox on fatherhood and Parkinson's disease.
Here again is the challenge to "appreciate".
Appreciate means to perceive the full force of, understand, be sensitive to, esteem adequately, recognise as valuable or excellent, be grateful for.
It is true, our lives and all events are in process, ever developing and altering. Some experiences are hard to weather while others give endless pleasure. Michael's thought to stop and savour the good in the now, gives us a hint on how to live well, as he is obviously doing.
I found it refreshing to read these quotes and others too, and discover that so many men's thoughts on being a dad were not limited to their own role. Rather they quickly spoke of their link or relationship with their children and it's beneficial affect on them.