This is an observation that should be recognized every day, not just one day set aside by the government. Fathers have an important role in their childrens' lives, especially their sons.
One of my favorite books is Iron John by Robert Bly. Using the fable by the Brothers Grimm, Mr. Bly shows how man is to pass on to his sons how to be a man. It is a drive that is deeply set in the brain. In it the father teaches about hunting, protecting, and how to be responsible.
In my novel, Novy's Son the reader will learn what can happen if a father does not know how to be a loving, giving, supportive and respectful father. The understanding of the father's role (the Iron John) was lost somewhere along the family line. The main character Murray (aka Michael) is always seeking love and approval from his father. This endeavor begins from the time of his birth and even after his father's death.
Antisocial and rebellious behavior becomes Murray's way of getting his father's attention. The more this behavior is exhibited, the angrier the father and the vicious cycle continues.
Occasionally the role of the father might be taken on by another family member or friend. Uncle Leon was such a person for Murray. The uncle passed on the Iron John and the rebellious behavior did not exist. Unfortunately, Uncle Leon passed away when Murray was a pre-teen leaving a large hole in the young boy's life.
Dad raised his voice, his jaw tightened, and his eyes looked up at me coldly. I knew I had stepped over an invisible line. “Take your elbows off the table now, and do not say another word.”
Tears began to flow. I stopped eating and put my hands in my lap. I both loved and feared my dad, and even at that young age, I longed for his affection and approval. I was not trying to be bad or defiant. I just wanted to understand why elbows on a table were so wrong.
Disturbed by Dad’s rising voice, Buddie entered the kitchen. “What is all the commotion about?”
He told her, “Murray is being very naughty, questioning my authority and knowledge of how one should behave.” He went into detail retelling the whole story, finishing with what a bad boy I was to disturb Buddie’s time ofrest.
Mother patted my head and said, “I am sure Murray did not mean anything. He is just a curious little boy, aren’t you? Now tell Dad you are sorry and finish your breakfast. We need to leave soon for my appointment with Dr. Daggett.”
I wiped the tears from my cheeks. “I am sorry. I just don’t understand...”
“That is enough, Murray,” were Dad’s final words while he folded his napkin, rose from the table, and left the kitchen. This kind of event had happened many times in the past and would occur in the future again and again. Dad had his rules. Sometimes I questioned them, seeking to understand them.
I remember being told that Dad did not have the happiest childhood, which was reflected in how he raised me and how he was unable to interact with many people. Dad was born out of wedlock in 1890, during the height of the Victorian Age, a child of a famous sculptor and his mistress, who was also his model. Dad was not close to his father, who devoted most of his time to his first love, sculpting. My grandmother, Albertina, had come from Sweden at a young age with only her mother, and her rare beauty had attracted my grandfather. She died when Dad was studying engineering at MIT, leaving him angry, lost, and lonely.
On June 28 the main character, Murray will be on the Lisa Burton Radio show. Be sure to watch and learn more about this most unusual man. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/lisa-burton-radio/