Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Fathers

I'm listening to a public radio program about good fathers, though I doubt the participants think of themselves that way. It's all very touching. It also made me ask myself how one copes with being without a father altogether, either because one just isn't around or is around but doesn't act as a loving parent. What is it that one needs to patch up, if anything? How does one cope later on? And is this different from daughters and sons?

All this could be asked about absent mothers, too, but it's more common for fathers to be absent, either in flesh or in spirit. Are the scars from that experience (if there are any) painful or not? And how does one learn to be a good (or really good enough) parent in general?
Added later: This post isn't really about the gender of the parent that might be missing but about the idea that a person is in some sense choosing not to be present, a person which the society judges should be present.