Ok so maybe my post yesterday re the battle with Ms Nature was premature. At 2am this morning I shifted in bed and woke to a spike of sharp pain and a crunching sound! I consulted my encyclopedic knowledge of medicine for an appropriate course of action. So if you happened to be passing my apartment at 2am I trust that explains why I was doing dumbell curls.
This morning involved another good soak in warm water to get some movement back. This technique is great but not brilliantly suited to cold days when the temperature change can be quite unpleasant to say the least. But I’m no quitter so whilst I may have declared victory a little early it was only the timing that was incorrect and not the outcome.
Over the weekend I was struck by another aspect of the ‘defeminisation’ off women. The big butch, chain smoking women with children seem to have taken over the ‘father figure’ role and abandoned the mother one. This is not a critique of size or appearance, there is something more in the general demeanour of these women. They are easily observed at one of their frequent meeting places: the cafe or Iceland on welfare day and the pound shop three days later.
These people move in packs like a terrorist cell and can be quite intimidating. But the really scary thing is the affect that they will have on their offspring. The sons will grow up thinking that women fight like men and can take a punch. These will not be boys that grow up caring for their mother, there will be no fragile old ladies to visit with grandchildren.
Then there is the daughters, brought up with a wrestler as a role model. These girls will learn from a young age that it is better to learn to slug it out than to waste your time learning to construct an eloquent repose. They will attend the first school disco looking like they put their makeup on with a magic marker, having asked mum for advice.
Remember that I just point out this stuff, look around you this week and you will soon spot your own examples.
The world of fatherhood is far from normal, there is none of the stability and certainty that comes with motherhood. Don’t let anyone tell you that parents are equal, we are not. Men’s equality is measured in sterling while mum’s are measured in hearts and flowers. You see this all of the time, even in the family model, mum gets cards and hugs dad pays for the cards. Society has led us to believe that mum is right, as young men we learn that mum is that soft fragile creature that needs looking after. This is, of course, right we want to bring up children that understand how to respect and look after women after all. The trouble is that at no point can we explain to children that “hey it wasn’t dad’s fault”, you see it has to be dad’s fault, that is just the rules. Children face the same story that divorce judges face, it is always the other sides fault. Talk to a guy he will tell you that his wife was in the wrong, talk to a woman she will say that it was his fault. Unfortunately children hear mum’s view and only the best of women are honest enough to tell their children the truth.
I got to thinking about this because of a sad story from a friend whose ex has pretty much banned him from seeing his kids. Also because of recent conversations with colleagues and friends who are dealing with family break up. Most recently I had the rare delight of a phone call from my daughter, as sweet and innocent as my small blonde always is. Apparently an uncle is due to come over this Christmas and she is excited to see him and to meet his new daughter. The oddity of the conversation is that my daughter got to recalling previous Christmas and those that were there. The conclusion was that this year will be “great to have a full family Christmas”, she is 12. There is no point in the conversation where it occurs to her that dad is not present at Christmas, nothing seems odd in telling her dad that she is looking forward to a family Christmas. My daughter tells me that mum wants a new carpet but can’t afford it and I wax lyrical about “how hard it is to keep up”. As a dad I am practiced enough to say this without grimacing at the thought that it is actually my house, my mortgage and in fact the only entitlement that my ex has to live there is that she is mum to my kids. Don’t misunderstand me I, like most guys, am proud and only to happy to support my children. But just like we have equality in the workplace can we have some in family life please? how about some honesty with our children, don’t do it for the ex partners who were mean, mentally abused you or pushed you into affairs but for the children. Don’t even do it so that the children know that they have a dad, do it so they don’t grow up thinking you only had them because it was easier than working for a living.