If we think of humanity in very ancient terms, we go back to the hunters and the gatherers. This basic division of roles is what drives the whole, men are from mars and women are from venus observations. But truth be told, this division is less gender based and more role based. The hunters are the Dominants..those who seek to excel, to stand out, and being a leader is a lonely place. The gatherers are the submissives… those who seek satisfaction in the achievements of the collective. I reject however the notion of gender based roles.
Now fathers day is a celebration on gender but as you might well imagine, in many ways I was not a traditional father.
To speak of me as a father, we must go back to the days before I became one. I was always a Dominant in desire and as a heterosexual male my desire was a submissive female. It wasn’t until much later that my heterfexible side developed, so in my younger years I tended to think of women in terms of what I could command.
So it was that when I finally matured enough to be attempt being a father, I wished for a son, knowing full well that my inclinations towards women in general would make me a poor father to a little girl. Funny that what we “know” is often wrong.
What I learned was that “Adults do not make children; children make adults”. When my daughter was born, she was so tiny. I never liked holding babies, and I felt the same way about my daughter.. for a few days. How quickly fear of harming her was replaced by the joy of having her close.
I bought a sling. Not the fancy one that has your baby strapped facing you, or riding on your back. This was a simple affair, just a circle of cloth that went from shoulder to hip and let your baby curl up in natal position on your stomach. I loved carrying my daughter this way for a number of reasons. First, I felt is was a bridge for her between the nine months spent in her mother, and today. And second, it gave me a small taste of what her mother had gone through, bearing her to birth age. I loved the feel of her against my stomach, the weigh of her as she slept. I strongly recommend these slings, especially for men.
I have fond memories of her riding with me to the day-care, just outside my office.. of visiting her for lunch, and of our adventures on the drive home. It was during these times I think that “stop and smell the roses” took on the special meaning it has for us today.
So often, our relations with our parents are strained. I think in this I have been blessed. I gave great thought to the role I should take in my daughters upbringing and I think in this particular endeavor, I have succeeded as a father. I think I brought the right balance of nurturing and admonishment. The right levels of control and freedom-at the right times in her life. The right lessons that would set my daughter on her way to making her own decisions.
I have been many things over the years… son, lover, husband, father. Yes, Master is in there too, but it is not important to this day.. except that I have never hid my life from my daughter. She knows everything, and in many ways I think she has some Dominant in her as well. I know she is happiest when she is in control. Her life wasn’t always perfect. She maintained wonderful grades all through school, but the fear of failure has become a devil she now struggles to embrace, perhaps to the ruin of some things that might otherwise be a success. It is the age old story.. that which we did in our youth, we turn 180 degrees from in our effort to break the bonds of the past.
Now she has passed from daughter to lover. Where her life will take her, I can’t imagine, but I love her dearly. In my youth, I knew only eros love.. the love of passion. But being a father taught me the ways of agape love.. the love of compassion. Each has a place in our lives.. passion and compassion. I hope she calls today, but perhaps she will not. When you are young and struggling in life, its hard. You are so busy watching for the upcoming horizon, we sometimes forget to look back. That is the thing about age. The older you get, the more you tend to look back. I think today, I’ll adopt the ways of youth, and look forward… I wonder what this day has in store for me? Carpe Diem my friends.. seize this day and make it yours. Go be someone’s great day.