Welcome to Day 14 of this year's A to Z Blog Challenge.
When I was a kid in the 60s, it was still common for fathers to be remote figures to their children. They worked long hours, were still expected to be somewhat scary authority figures and good for providing financial stability to the family.
Yet, were dads thought of as friends back when I was growing up?
For Day 14 --
N is for my dad, Norman
In the 60s, my dad was already settling into the role that modern dads wear easily.
He shared housework with my mom, our family made democratic decisions, and he forged a true friendship with both of his daughters as well as being a father we could count upon.
He was not a dad who missed our school concerts and plays, even though he had his own scuba diving shop and later sold cars. I always remember him prowling quietly along the edges of auditoriums with his camera, taking lots of pictures -- rather like I do, now.
He stood in the damp cold during my final year film shoot for Ryerson, pitching in as both a boom operator and an extra.
But the thing that stays with me as a part of me, deep and solid, is the way he held my hand as he walked me down the aisle.
Here's a poem I wrote for my dad which he kept with him since he first read it. He passed away the same year I started this blog -- in fact his passing was the launch pad for both my blog and my eventual publication.
Even as a girl I knew my friendship with my dad wasn't that common. Not when I heard my childhood friends describing their home life, and later when I encountered examples of typical father-daughter relationships in books, TV shows and films.
It makes me happy that societal shifts have moved more father-daughter relationships into the kind of friendship my dad and I treasured. For those who insist that parents shouldn't be friends to their children, as a former day care worker and nanny, I too understand the need for clear boundaries for kids, for parents to provide authority along with basic safety, shelter and security.
However, my dad was my first male friend, which led to a lifetime of having many male friendships that had nothing to do with romance -- only enjoying the commaraderie of men.
He could not have given me a more important gift.