Yesterday was Father’s Day. Similar to Mother’s Day, these “celebrations” seem to bring up a lot of feelings for a lot of people. I thought about children who could not be with their fathers yesterday. Maybe he was traveling for work, maybe he was in prison, maybe he was with another family, maybe he died. What happens when one has a complicated relationship with a parent?
When I worked in the adoption field many newly adoptive parents were concerned that their children would think about their first parents on Mother’s and Father’s Days. They were afraid that the child would feel a sense of loss again, that these days would bring up fears of abandonment. I also thought about the parents who chose to place their child for adoption. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day must be difficult for them too.
Today, in the United States, there are more single parent households than ever before. Do you know who’s running these households? Mothers run most of them. Grandparents, cousins, friends, etc. run some of them too. What happens when a father is no longer around? How do fatherless children celebrate Father’s Day?
I am constantly inspired by the presentations on the website, TED.com. TED stands for Technology, Education and Design. From it’s website, it is described as, “a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from (these) three worlds.” It has grown into so much more. I visit the site frequently if I want to be inspired or learn something.
I found a wonderful talk by Angela Patton of Camp Diva. Camp Diva “provides opportunities for girls to prepare themselves spiritually, socially, emotionally, intellectually, and culturally, for their passage into womanhood.” In just over eight minutes, Ms. Patton talks about girls finding a way to connect with their fathers via a dance. When the idea is explored further, she describes one girl who cannot invite her father because he is in prison. In this inspiring talk, I enjoyed learning ways to think creatively in order to move through loss.