Sunday, June 15th, Father's Day is celebrated here in the United States. It is a day that often involves neck ties, shirts, and other such gifts for the man of the house. The family often will gather out on the deck or patio while Dad barbecues brats, hot dogs, or hamburgers. It is a happy day when the kids tell their dad how much they love and appreciate him.
Or is it?
How many American homes have a father or male role model in them?Fathers, do you pass on the "Iron John" to your sons?
Did you learn about being a man, a father, a husband from your dad?
In the early 1990's, Robert Bly wrote the book Iron John, where he writes about "a new vision of what it is to be a man." He expresses concern about the absence of men in the family unit, and the loss of male initiation rituals into manhood. He talks about the eight stages of male growth, and that masculinity is both protective and centered, emotionally. This is a book I recommend for everyone, male and female, to read.
Another book I recommend for a lighter, funnier look at fatherhood is:
Bill Geist and his son Willie have written a wonderful book with humor and deep insight about their father-son relationship titled, Good Talk, Dad. I encourage you to take a look at it.
In my recently published book, Novy's Son, The Selfish Genius, I present the main character as a man searching for the "Iron John" by getting love and acceptance from his father. It is a compilation of men I have known in my life from fathers, grandfathers, sons, and husbands, and the men that I counseled over the twenty years I worked as a nurse therapist.