Has deepened my appreciation for how important fathers are in the equation. Fathers are not optional. Boys need their dads. And if dad is not available, they need a good male figure in their lives. They absolutely require that intangible masculine something that a woman, no matter how attentive and thorough just can't give. And I'm not talking just any old dude in a boy's life. I'm talking about one who shows him how to handle his emotions properly--not afraid to show them but wise about his actions and reactions when under the influence of them. A man who the boy has unshakeable faith in. A man who loves the boy unconditionally and insists on always being there through the good and the bad. He is compassionate, caring, and understanding. Playful yet firm.
Boys, especially boys Z1's age, crave it. And blossom and bloom when they have it. And it hurts my heart to see the shadow of loss and void when I notice a little boy who doesn't have that looking on longingly at my son and his father or another father/son couple.
For sure, we all have different paths in life that make us who we are. But living where I do, I see a disproportionate amount of fatherless boys and I wonder if folks know just how profound that missing element is. Do they care?
And yes, fathers are vital for little girls too but that's for a different post.
Photo Credit: "Father and Son" by WisDoc