Three songs in pop culture.
Cats in the Cradle – Cat Stevens
Never went to church – The Streets
Boy named Sue – Johnny Cash
All songs about sons to fathers. All tributes from fathers to sons. All simply beautiful songs. All begging for answers, searching for identity, wondering about this amazing thing called ‘being a man’!
Fatherhood is an ongoing tussle. A never-ending battle. It’s an arm-wrestle from son to father, then the son to his son. It’s a seemingly ongoing challenge, a search for identity, a search for affirmation.
Fatherhood is like a reflection.
As a son, you want to see your father validate your worth. You want to see your reflection shine in his eyes. You want to be a good reflection of your father.
As a father, you want to be the best reflection of manhood to your son. You want him to see a reflection of honour, pride, love, manhood.
As a father, you want your son to reflect the best that is in you. You want him to have his own beautiful reflection in life. You want him to reflect all the good that is in him.
It’s an ongoing battle to prove and be proven. To show you can do it. To show you can teach it.
So what if your father was absent? If he left you? Who do you reflect then? Surely the man does not want to reflect his absent father. It’s easier said than done, but it can be done!
Men, your reflection of fatherhood may have been excellent, it may have been ok. It may have been good, it may have been poor. I’ve mused about fatherhood before and I’m convinced that fatherhood is a verb. It’s not a noun, or even an adjective. It’s a process. A process of learning about yourself, your partner, your children. It’s about loving your children, about being the best reflection of fatherhood, of masculinity that you can.
So the reflection you had may have been poor, but that does not make you a poor reflection of a man. Smash that false mirror image and start afresh. Be your own mirror. Be the best reflection of yourself on your own family.
So ask yourself – what are you reflecting on your family?