samedi 20 juin 2015

Fatherhood: reflexions and feelings [June's MKB blog carnival]

For the first time in my life, I truly realise all that my father has done for me since we met.

From age 3 to 14, I didn't have a father and it was not a word I used often when I lived with my mother and my grand-mother. During those years, I used to imagine his face, the sound of his voice, what he liked and if he has ever cared for me.

One day, I found out. And it's all thanks to my half-sister (from my father's first marriage) who, when she was a grown-up, has looked for the little baby sister she has met when she was 9 years old. She gave me back pieces of the puzzle that was my origines. 

During my childhood, no one explained me "The Truth". I just knew bribes of what happened. I will not go into details here, I will only say that I always perceived that huge parts of the canva had been left out. 

Meeting my father for the first time since I was a toddler (so, no big memories...) is an event I will cherish and remember for all eternity. We met at Collioure, a lovely port/beach of my region, my mother looking at the meeting from afar before leaving us for the lunch we shared at a local restaurant. We were both incredibly nervous, not exactly knowing where to start our conversation. One of the first things we discussed was what we wanted to eat, and we agreed that we loved both seafood and fishes... 

In the short time we had together that day, we understood that we had lots in common. And I learned that he never wanted to "abandon" me. He just did what he felt was better for me at the time of their separation, and also what my grand-mother (my mom's mother) forced on him. 

Since this reunion, I gradually grew more alike my father. Not that I didn't share many common interests with my mother (quite contrary). It happened that on a spiritual level, I was my father's daughter. And this part of me was gaining in maturity.

Years passed and now the situation is reversed. I have frequent contacts with my father and my step-mother (by phone due to our locations) + half-sister, whereas my mother has chosen a sorrowful path for her last years in this mortal world. I will always keep contact with her even if she doesn't say a word about her situation (she still gives me updates on her health, though) and just ask about her grand-children... 

I wonder what I would have become if my sister didn't sought me out. Would I have ever been able to assert myself and made the choices that led me to my present family? I will perhaps never find the answers. Not that it really matters to me. The past can't be changed, and it's so much better to look for a brighter and deeper understanding of life, while enjoying / learning from all the experiences of the present. 

I love my Fathers: the "biological" one and the spiritual one. For many years, I was far away from them both. Today, I couldn't think about departing from their love and understanding. Thank you Dad, thank you God, for being who you are. 

Love, your daughter.

From left to right: my step-mother, my dad, my mom, me, my husband, his mother, his father.
It was such a blessing to have both my mother and my father attending my wedding (+ my step-mother I adore).

This month of June 2015, the MKB Blog Carnival is celebrating Fathers and Fatherhood! It's my first time at writing one summary text for this monthly event.

I received a bunch of links that left me rather emotional, some adorable craft ideas to celebrate Father's Day, and out-of-the-ordinary stories about what a Father can do for his family. Join me in this ride of emotions and reflexions about Fatherhood.

It's a Parenting Journey:

Becoming a Dad is as much emotional as becoming a mother. Ok, not in the same way. However, men didn't feel the life growing inside them, they didn't prepare their body and mind to go through labor. So when they see their baby for the first time, when they hold this little being in their shaking arms and refrain from shedding some tears, the change that just happened in their life is rather earth-shaterring. They have to adapt, discover new things and developp new talents... and sometimes it can be rather difficult.

  • Ilze from Let the Journey Begin explained in a witty post that she has offered the position of "tucking their child in" to her husband. He works his magic better than her on that spell. I agree with her, I love to let my husband do the same. With me it's always "one more kiss, one more song, etc". Dads have often this ability and it would be a dumm idea to let it go unexploited.
  • In Maria's household, her husband bless the children each year before the start of the schoolyear. It's a responsability for him, as Priesthood holder, to give blessings to his family when they need it. For her, it shows how much he cares for his children and their well-being. It makes him more attune to what they need in their daily life. (She blogs at Trilingual Mama) Maria and I are from the same Church, and my husband do also an "annual" blessing to me and the children for New Year. I think it will be good if he does that too when my son will start Primary school and my daughter the Kindergarten a few days after... 
  • On her blog, Olga has also interviewed Leanna of All Done Monkey on this subject of multilingualism. When daddy has an accent will speak to many of you (and the story is told in a fun and loving way). 
  • Not a MKB member, but a bloggind Dad I just discovered: here comes Jon (Finding Fatherhood) with his thoughts about being a father of one year old girl and what life had taught him since her birth. 10 advices that every dad out there should print on their heart and apply immediately!

In honor of Fathers:
I did my thank you letter at the beginning of this post, but I'm not the only one who has written how much their dad mean to them.

  • Janelle lived an adventurous childhood, travelling with her dad as often as possible, in places many dream to visit. She is thankful for the experiences and the values he has taught her. Now that she's a parent, she wants to pass these feelings onto her children and also onto her readers. She has started a book collection about adventurous girls and it wouldn't have been possible without the help and love of her father. 
J&D Honduras
Janelle's family in Honduras. Source: here.
  • Marianne from Bilingual Avenue had the privilege to interview her father for one of the episodes of her podcast. She told me: "For me, it was a very moving episode because we touched on how hard he has fought to provide me and my siblings with a good education". A much neede listening! 
The Art Curator for Kids - Fathers in Art History - Vincent van Gogh, First Steps, after Millet, 1890
Vincent van Gogh, First Steps, after Millet, 1890
Source: here.

Supporting the fathers in our lives:
I would like to thank also my husband. He's a supportive spouse, hard-working man (especially about our budget), and he enjoys having time with his children, at the park or at the living-room's table while playing a boardgame. As a wife and mother, I can't think about my roles "at home" without including those of my husband. We are complementary in our job of raising our children. Over-working is not an option for him: his family is his priority. And I wouldn't have married him if his mind was not "oriented" in that way.

Coming back to our blog carnival, I'm not the only one who show support to fathers.
  • Diana on Ladydeelg explore the topic of Why we need to support working dads. The points she puts forth are essential for more cohesion in a household and for dads to be more present for their children. Solutions exist and Diana highlights them perfectly.

  • Jonathan has taken a paternity leave and he encourages fathers to do so. That time with his son made him more attached to his family and conscious of what he would have missed without it.

  • Cooking a meal for the whole family, putting love and dedication into it, that's what Audrey's husband did on a Christmas Day. She highlight in her post and pictures how much of a fatherly figure he was at that moment, thinking about his loved ones and enjoying himself at cooking for them. Audrey blogs at Espanolita.

  • Olga (the European Mama) has chosen, in a post for Bluntmom, to stand for her husband, and all the fathers who are doing (some) things right. Her example echoes with the story of Ilze (see her post up). She also thanks her husband for his great efforts: he learnt Polish to be closer to her and their children.

Crafty ideas for Father's Day:
How could we finish without a bit of craft? Father's Day being tomorrow in France, cards and presents are highly recommended at our house! And at yours?

Card made for Father's Day two years ago.
My son has chosen the color and texture of the papers, the stickers, etc.
I have cut and glued the papers, and also written the text...

  • It's Father's Day with humoristic cartoons at Pragmatic Mom! Mia has prepared also a book giveaway for the occasion.
  • And if you have no time for crafting, here are two free printable cards created by Diana: in French and in Spanish.

I will finish my round-up with this beautiful song, from an artist (and man) I am thrilled to follow: Peter Hollens. He wrote this song after the birth of his son, Ashland. As an a capella singer, the deep of the emotion is even more tangible.

Happy Father's Day!

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