I wrote this for Father's Day this year, but wanted to revisit it due to a recent article I read about Mothers keeping the children from their Fathers. That was not my experience. Though my parents were divorced my mother never attempted to keep us from our father. The insight she shared with me as a teenager was that she wanted us to develop our own idea of who he is without her, and it did happen. Over the years I had a myriad of ideas about who he was, but none colored by her feelings.
For those Mothers who are keeping their children from Fathers who are not a danger to the children or yourself, chronic felons, drug users, or just nutty; know that your children do not belong to you. Children are not pawns in your game, a means to get back at someone, or your access to money. Your relationship with and to their Father should be exclusively betweent the two of you. With that said, I got the chance to get my Dad's view of more than 30 years without his wife and children. And these are some of the things my Dad taught me.
Yes, there are more things I learned from John Gaskins and they will be revealed at different times, when I need them most. Most of all, I learned that Fathers are just men, not super men. Men that live life, make choices, make mistakes, laugh, love, hurt, cry, and want the best for themselves and their family - just like women. I honor my Dad for just being a man, nothing more, nothing less, just a man who lived his life the best way he knew. And I will forever love him in all his humanity.