Sunday, June 21, 2009

Further, Father

All my male friends had one and most of us are one. Not only have we fathered our children but consider all the fathering we've done in our time as we shepherd others along in this long distance run with our stumbling, bumbling wisdom. Parenting is that unrehearsed piece of theatre called life fraught with mis-steps, forgotten lines and audience grumbles but also some rave reviews.

After watching two seasons of "In Treatment" I've come away with the sense that we are where the bread crumbs lead. Most of Gabriel Byrne's patients seem to be products of rotten fathers. Ah ha, so you say you love your father!. We'll see about that.

(Having put in those italics I now can't seem to get rid of them)

Like it or not we are half the team of unprepared sculptors who shape the clay even as we are shaping ourselves. Who knew the clay was so soft and our mark do indelible.

Inept as I am at hunting or fishing with no natural affinity for pipes or power tools I sympathize with my daughters looking for a Father's Day card that fits. They've done very well over the years finding open books, trees and possibly a baseball.

Note to my daughters: If I've seemed judgmental, protective and a voice of caution just know that it comes with the job description. If I live vicariously through you from time to time that's also part of the package. I love you all and love how you have extended my fingerprints beyond my imagining. And how you know that your clay is still soft.


  1. You are not mein Papa but I loved reading what you wrote. Beautifully phrased my friend.


  2. Dear Fatheringham... yes, we are still amazingly pliable clay even though we may have hardened in places, you have left your mark in artful and indelible ways, helping to shape who we are... thank you dear Viscount von Sloth, for all of it.
    Love, Sybil Relish, daughter #2