I was trying to find a quote about fathers but they all had some piece about their hardness. This idea that masculinity is the same as emotional absence.
This is not my experience.
My big sister and I were lucky enough to have a non-traditional upbringing in the sense that our dad stayed home while our mum worked. I didn't know it was not normal, it was just my life.
I think the narrative that mothers are caring and nurturing and that fathers are mean and disciplinarians is an oversimplification of the challenge of parenthood. We fall into the confirmation bias when we see dads setting the boundaries and ignore all the kind and caring things father's do.
I think the more accurate quote would be the Nigerian Proverb "It takes a village to raise a child". My father had a profound effect on who I became but he wasn't the only fatherly figure in my life.
I had many friend's fathers who came from different walks of life that broadened my point of view about life.
Many teachers that provided guidance on how to act and think.
Many older players who would pull me aside and give me advice on the challenges of growing up and helping me figure out who I was.
Many people have big brothers that pass on sagely advice, or older cousins and friends.
My experience is that the men in my life have not been one-dimensional unexpressive unemotive hard arses. They have been multi-faceted caring, supportive, enriching people that also played the very important role of creating frameworks of what a man should be and holding me accountable to that.
These men, and especially my father, is the reason why people say your mum must have raised you well.
Send out love this Father's Day to all those people that acted as a father to you, big or small, all of the interactions contribute to who you are today.
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Shave well, be awesome, give someone you love a hug.