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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fathers and Sons

This has been a theme in my personal life lately, so maybe that’s why I’ve been extra aware of it.

A couple of months ago we went to a hockey game again, and again were surrounded by daddies and their little boys. In front of us were two brothers who brought their three boys. During one of the breaks, the mascot shot t-shirts into the crowd, and one of the brothers caught one. You should have seen the light in his son’s eyes. “My DADDY caught it!” The other brother raced his son to the restroom, and was so patient with him when too much caffeine set in and the boy bounced the rest of the game.

The daddy next to us had a LITTLE one with him, two, I’m thinking, and the little boy wanted the daddy’s attention and even though daddy wanted to watch the game, he gave the little boy the attention. And he sprinted to the bathroom with him when HE had too much soda.

There’s something about fathers and sons that fascinates me, seeing a strong man vulnerable to a small child, seeing the child adoring his daddy, and how that reflects on the rest of his life. My friend Cindi thinks it’s because dads in our generation didn’t have much to do with the kids, let the mothers take most of the responsibility. So maybe women who are younger than us don’t get the same thrill seeing a man holding a baby, or buying his kid an ice cream, or just walking down the street with him, hanging out with him, showing him he matters.

I wrote a scene the other day with Corbett (the villain/hero) and his son, and it broke my heart. Corbett sent the boy to boarding school under another name to keep him safe from his enemies after his wife was killed. Now he doesn’t know how to connect with the boy. He’s in love with my heroine and has the desire for a family, but it may be too late to win his son back.

Part of my fascination with Supernatural is the father/son relationship. (You knew I’d bring it up, right? If I can work that into a conversation these days, I will, too. Can you believe my cps have NEVER SEEN SUPERNATURAL? That’s just wrong.)

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Their relationships are so complex. Dean is the daddy-pleaser, Sam the rebel. Both know their father loved them, but did he love them more than he needed to find the demon that killed their mother? It’s still so twisted in both boys.

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My dh never knew his dad, so he didn’t have a pattern to follow when he became a father. Maybe he had expectations of what a father should be, and that’s why he’s such a great one. I hope my son someday knows how lucky he is.

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At 12:28 PM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

I didn't have much contact with my father-in-law, and from what I saw, he was not the affectionate sort. However, my husband managed to overcome any reluctance to cuddle and care for our son. They're still very close.

I had the pleasure of visiting my son shortly after his son was born. He changed diapers (payback!) and was definitely 'in love' with the kidlet. That was about a year and a half ago, and the magic hasn't worn off. He's still the caring father, and it warms my heart to get the parental updates.

Just wish we could be closer.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I've really enjoyed watching my brother with his son. He calls him buddy. I love how my brother's son wants to help him when he's working on pavers or building something. Little Andrew wants to be just like his dad. He even stands like my brother.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger MaryC said...

I hope this doesn't seem irreverent or like I don't take the discussion seriously, because I do. I share your delight, MJ, in watching fathers and sons. We have two daughters so I never saw my husband with a son, until we adopted a male dog. It's SO much fun to watch my husband with the pup. he plays catch with him like he's training him for the Red Sox. And delights when Fen catches the ball! DH adores his daughters but playing with his "boy" is altogether different.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Mary, how what a neat comment. My dh always wanted a daughter. I would love to see him with a girl. Maybe a granddaughter in the distant distant future....

Terry, I look forward to seeing my son with his kids. He's already told us he won't likely live in town, though :(

Maureen, how sweet about your brother. My bro would make a great daddy, if they'd ever get around to it. Tick tock!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

Yeah, MJ - it's tough. None of my kids lives close. Two in Colorado, one in Northern Ireland. At least the baby's not in Ireland. And we're thinking of retiring to Colorado. Of course, if we do, then the kids will probably have new jobs and will move somewhere else.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I have two brothers who are both great Dads - one to his son and daughter and the other to his stepson. I see much of our Dad in my brothers. He was stern and a bit strict, but he also had a wicked dry sense of humor and loved to tease all of us. My brothers are that way with their kids. It is when I watch them teach the boys to work on cars or to build something and I see how patient they are that I see my Dad the most. He had such high expectations of my brothers as men and as professionals and they have lived up to those expectations and are instilling them in their sons. My eldest nephew particularly is SO much like my late father it brings tears to my eyes.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Your dh is a good dad. Wild to see the boy so little in that picture. :)

I'm envious of those who have good and close relationships with their fathers. I think it's very special when people do.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Oh, this is very interesting. I can't wait to see what sort of Dads my sons will be...or maybe I can wait. Ha! :)

My dad didn't take a big part in raising his 5 daughters so it is interesting to see my husband be SO involved in our children's lives. It's wonderful to watch.

Thanks for the post, Mary!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Louisa, your comment made me teary. My dad and brother don't have a good relationship, but my brother and step-dad do. When Dale has a kid, I can imagine that relationship will reflect the latter relationship.

Trish, that is an old picture ;) Look at that dark hair on Fred ;)

Theresa, 5 daughters! Your poor dad!! :)


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