I’ll never forget seeing the father of one of my former clients crying his eyes out for the TV cameras after his 19-year old son was shot and killed by police snippers after his son had gone on a shooting spree, wounding random passers by. This distraught father was the same man I had called for a year straight several years earlier when I was a social worker at Boy’s Town of Missouri. He NEVER returned my calls, and when I came to visit, would not answer the door. In that year, he didn’t see his son once.
As we approach Father’s day, and my son Frank is about to become a father, I marvel at the men I do know who are attentive, active and involved parents. I can’t imagine anyone could have been a better co-parent for me than my own Frank Robbins. He adore toddlers. They drive me insane. He loves to read aloud. I can tolerate it, but certainly don’t enjoy it. He was the intellectual center of the family. I was the practical one. He knew where to find the perfect haiku. I knew how to get us all upgraded to first class for free. A friend of mine described dancing with her husband on the deck of a boat floating down the Nile as paradise. For me, a family dinner with Frank and the guys was sheer heaven.
Our kids thought this was normal. Parents who loved each other and co-parented. “The Tender Bar,” is much closer to reality, I’m afraid. It is the story of a boy, and the a young man, searching for the father in every man he meets and the guys in the bar down the street who give him a sense of community and what it means to be a man. My only real problem with this book was putting it down. On one leg of a trip, they announced that my flight would be delayed at least an hour. I sat with my size 16 butt in a size 8 seat and thought, “oh goodie, I can keep reading a little longer.” That is just how great this book is.
Sooooo, take a little time and thank the great men who have been your role models as men. They are too few and far between not to be admired, thanked and fawned over.
Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP waiting for her Studmuffin hubby to get home