Raymond Carver – the American short story writer and poet published a book in 1985 called “Fires”. It is a great collection of essays and poems. Included in the book is a wonderful and moving essay called, “My Father’s Life” and a poem entitled, “Photograph Of My Father In His Twenty Second Year.” He says, “The poem was a way of trying to connect with him” long after he had died.
Last month three of us contributed to a conference hosted by Sure Start in West Lothian entitled ‘The Invisible Man: working with fathers’.
David Drysdale was first up and his bit on men, fathers and caring was well received. The third was John Roger’s presentation on Mellow Dads and this also went down well with evidence of children being able to return home after work with the father.
Fathers Day Storytelling - a celebration of active fatherhood
Saturday 18th June, 11:00am-4:00pm
at Scottish Storytelling Centre
John Knox House 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Paternity-tests: nailing the myth
At the beginning of February, Boots’ decision to sell paternity-testing kits sparked another round of lazy journalism. This time about a ‘fear’ that fathers will discover their children are not biologically theirs.
Last Friday evening I went along to the Filmhouse in Edinburgh to see the film Neds. I knew very little about the film other than that it was written and produced by Peter Mullen which is reason enough to watch it.
Set in 1970's Glasgow the story is undoubtedly rooted in it's gritty location and time but tells a universal tale about the crisis of masculinity and the pain of a boy growing up without a father (as well as the usual Scottish themes of drink and class divide).
Probably it’s just me but now that the Xmas/New Year thing is over, I’m happy. Actually relieved that’s the whole shebang done for another twelve months. It made me wonder what other dads think and do. We know that the pressure on mothers is significant – expectations to be partner, mother, cook, organiser of a memorable experience, not to mention the cleaning up, but what about the dads? That’s the problem though, there are so many types of dads out there.
Despite the more positive facts about Scottish fathers - men living in Scotland are the most 'hands-on' fathers in the UK, e.g. more than 65 per cent of Scottish fathers change their baby's nappies once a day or more - one fifth higher than the UK average of 43 per cent and the fact that Scottish fathers are also most likely to watch their babies being born (The ESRC Millennium Cohort Study, 2003), the Scottish Government has had little to say about fathers and fatherhood. A report just out from Children in Scotland has commented that “engagement with fathers across child and family services in Scotland is sporadic” .