I hear a lot about fatherless sons. I understand why the focus. If our sons aren’t learning from their father, then who from? They say “Life imitates art”, our most highly recognized form of art is celebrityism. Through the art of acting, singing, and dancing our boys are being influenced. Unfortunately, in today’s time you don’t even need an art form to be a celebrity which complicates an already complicated situation further.   So our sons are being influenced by rappers, thugs, adulterers, serial daters, egotistical maniacs, spend thrifts, drug addicts, and shall I go on? I think not, I am growing bored.

I just laid out a pretty interesting theory why our young fatherless sons are growing up and mistreating women, being financially irresponsible, misguided, and having less than respect for people. That’s kind of the general idea.

My oldest son experienced most of his life being raised as a fatherless son. My youngest son lived the majority of his life with his father. Both are the loves of my life. They are like oil and vinegar. One is very creative, abhors authority, and enjoys physical labor over deep thinking and problem solving. The other thrives with structure, honors authority, could sit on a computer programming for hours – maybe days. One is pretty calm while the other is highly expressive. One has great reasoning skills the other gets frustrated and aggravated when challenged. They have vastly different personalities, temperaments, and character traits.

They both have tender hearts and show me tremendous respect and love.  For that I am grateful.

Why am I telling you this? Because I get sick of the popular opinion thinking. “Oh, he didn’t have a father so that’s why he’s turned to a life of crime”. It pisses me off that some people excuse or expect some behavior because of, in essence, a stereotype.

My oldest son was always a straight A student, until his senior year in high school when he chose to live with his dad. He almost didn’t graduate. My youngest was terribly challenged at school from an early age. I met with his teachers every Wednesday for years, and ultimately he dropped out of school. His primary residence was with his father.

My original intention for this writing was about how the following quote landed on me as I read it through my Facebook feed.

“A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men”

My dad was the standard against which I judged all men. He abandoned me at 2 years old and I subconsciously expected abandonment not just from men, but from everyone and everything. Quit, leave, abort before you are abandoned, was my M.O. The quote stops shy a bit of the potential damage a daddy can do.

At 30 years old, I chose not to judge my dad, but to have a non-committal relationship where we can have conversations and I can learn from him. Recently having a 90 minute talk on a snowy day about my grandma Fern who killed herself racing between bars to win a bet. Knocked a church clean off its foundation. I know you want more…that’ll have to wait for another time.  My point is I found a way to heal. I learned to accept the terms I was given to move forward in a way that honors me and promotes the life I want.

Did my oldest son become an even tempered, thoughtful, responsible man because his father was absent until his high school days? Or was it because his mother demonstrated her values and unconditional love, never complaining about his father’s absence and just doing the do? Living life with him instead of telling him life is less than because some how he got shorted.

Did my youngest son make choices that will create more challenges for him because he lived with his father, or because he didn’t live with his mother?

Does it really matter? I couldn’t love them anymore and nothing could make me love them any less.

In conclusion, I don’t think we need to worry so much about who is not in our lives as much as we need to be conscious, aware and engaged with who is in our lives. This is life people. Don’t make excuses and live it!

Interested in working through, letting go, and moving forward?

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– Teresa Rodden, Certified Life Coach