My Father is 82 and he treated us all to a holiday skiing in Austria over Christmas as he wanted to take his whole family (eleven of us) for a Christmas treat.
He realises that at his age there may not be many years in which we can gather in this way.
His generosity is vast, his love is vaster still. However as a child I had a very different experience of my father. He was typical of his era, and indeed of many father’s today: he went to work, we saw very little of him, he was busy and often distracted. He was present for the major events like birthdays and family occasions, however it was my mother who did the day to day nurturing, caring and raising of us three children.
My own children are having a very different experience than I did. My husband is a fantastic stay at home dad. We had children late in life and so he has already had a career and now he takes his job as a father as his primary role and is really hands on. He does a lot of the day to day care and raising of our children.
Whatever the experience of fathers, they are important. Research shows that the more active role a father takes in a child’s life the less likely the children are to go towards drugs, alcohol, teenage sex (and pregnancy) and other social problems. Fathers are precious, special and at whatever age they can be so important in one’s life.
Surrogate fathers, Uncles, Older brothers, Step fathers, male family friends, all can play a role to give the importance of “father” in a child’s life. Even if a child has no biological father present, it does not mean that someone special cannot play that role of dad for them.
I love my dad, I love the dad my husband is being to our children and I love that I can see and honour how important father’s are.