BY NESTOR CUARTERO
JUST A THOUGHT: “Nurture life, life will nurture you.” – Donald Hicks
OH, MY PAPA: Fathers are a mystery to man.
Children grow up usually either in awe or in fear of them. Unlike mothers whose role in our life is well defined from the moment we are born, fathers are normally, and also unjustly, perceived as taking only a supporting role in the parenting equation.
They take credit and comfort in such titles as the pillar of strength, captain of the ship.
Beyond these lofty descriptions that children can’t initially figure out, fathers fade into the background and are often lost in the humdrum of everyday domestic life. They are pictured in media, biographies, and real life as either absent or too busy making money, serious or strict, stoic and macho.
In other words, they are so often contained in their own world and lacking in emotions, specifically, empathy with their children.
They are said to be afraid of showing their soft, human side, wary that showing weakness can hamper their role as the family’s resident disciplinarian. But, are all fathers? Is this an accurate, or even fair, description of fatherhood?
HOW’S YOUR FATHER:
Sons take after their fathers, warts and all, when they grow up and become fathers themselves. My father, Pedro, relied on the basic combination of good sense, physical presence, hands-on discipline, old fashioned rules and regulations, with a bit of humor, in raising us, his seven children.
In later years, my father had mellowed somewhat. He laughed more, loved more, cooked more, and talked much, much more. We had become, till his very last day when death stole him away in his sleep at 68, the very best of friends.