As it is Father’s day I would like to wish all the fathers a very happy day. I hope you feel cherished. I was also thinking about my father. The last time I got to celebrate Father’s day with my father was when I was 5 years old. As you might know my father enjoyed relating with me through art. He would sit at the end of the table with a scrap book and we would draw together. There were three specific activities he would do.
- He often just drew simple drawings in black maker pen which I could colour in together with him but I also liked doing my own copies of his drawings. I am sure he was amused to see my childlike images but I think that it must have been rewarding for him.
- He would also start drawing an image and while he was drawing he would ask me to guess what it was. That was fun too.
- The third thing he did with me is he would ask me to make a mark or squiggle on the page and then he would change it into an image.
Other than drawing he would play his musical instrument, sing and tell me fantastically made up stories. He was Scottish and it seems from folk tales that they enjoyed scary tales.
I have very happy memories of this togetherness time with him and appreciate the effort he invested in me because he died when I was 6 years old. He left me with a love of art, music and storytelling; a love of connecting with others and I believe it is part of the emotional and psychological legacy he left behind for me. There is baggage too that is not so good because he was human but while we are considering our fathers I want to dwell on the positive impact he had on me.
If you are a father…
I want to encourage fathers who are reading this, that you too have an influence on your children. The contact is very personal and nobody can tell you how, but part of it is just being yourself and being interested in your children. Follow their lead by getting to know them better and finding out what they like doing. I am sure you will find common interests that you can share in. You might be surprised at the impact. The most important thing is making the opportunity to show love. I hope you enjoy being a father.
May you be wise, kind and full of fun. May your family be richer because of these qualities in you.
Thank you for being part of the process of wondering down memory lane and I would invite you to share your experiences too. I am also grateful to my mother for keeping these mementos.