Fathers Day & The Long Arc Among Men

Yesterday was Fathers Day in North America.

When I was a kid growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Fathers Day meant getting the whole gang together for a BBQ on Sunday. My Grandpa Gould, Aunts and Uncles. Cousins. My Parents. There’d be 15-20 of us. A few presents. Dads reading cards out loud together as we gathered round, inside for rainy days, and outside for sunny days. I loved being able to be with family.

My father died when I was 14. It’s a loss that deeply impacted my life. With wound, and yet, with strength also.

Yesterday, Fathers Day meant giving myself a gift of some slow pace. In the morning, really to just tend to my home a bit. Pull some weeds from the yard. Replace some ant traps near the back door. Laundry. Cleaning bathrooms. Enjoying a coffee. It’s sounds boring, but was really quite satisfying.

One of the things I did in my slow pace yesterday was to think about the ring of men that I’m connected to with a bit of fathering energy. I’m not even sure why. I think I mostly wanted to invoke the broader circle in my mind and heart, a few of the men in the long arc of being kind men together.

There was my dad and my step father.
There was my grandfathers and great grandfathers.
There were my former fathers inlaw.
There were my former grandfathers inlaw.
There were my uncles.
There were friends.
There were future fathers — my sons, son inlaw, my nephew.
There was me.

This circle in mind and heart over coffee, was 30 men. I journaled about them, a bit. I wrote their names on a piece of paper and placed them into a circle so that I could see them, and so that I could feel just a bit of the broader story together, this fraternal connection.

My kids came later in the day. We made dinner together, thanks in particular to my daughter. We ate. We laughed. We teased. I got a few presents that I’m super happy to have. When my 13 year-old was leaving at the end of the evening to go to his Mom’s place, he had closed my bedroom door. He told me not to go in until after he had left. So, I got to it later in the evening. I was greeted by the pillow above. It’s one of those sequin covers that you can “write on” by reversing the sequin to it’s opposite direction and a different color.

It’s good to be touched, isn’t it. In the heart. In the mind. With lovely people. In the long arc among men.