Work gloves laying on top of a pruning tool on a concrete drive way

This post was originally scheduled for June 17, before Father’s Day. Due to a business trip, I didn’t get this edited and posted by then.  I will get back to my schedule next week. In the meantime, some thoughts about fathers and Father’s day.

Over the years, I’ve seen changes in how fathers are recognized for their role in families. From an isolated role, a stern disciplinarian, to an active role, involved with their children, our culture is finding the time to recognize the importance of parent relationships with their children. I believe fathers caring for their children was always their, the expression of their love was different. Instead of hugs and kisses, children were mentored and given a helping hand when learning new things. Or a push to keep going when it was difficult, given in a gruff manner. A fathers love was more often shown with projects and actions instead of words and physical interaction. Fathers were not supposed to be overly emotional, no matter how much they might care about their family.

Sideways view of a piano keyboard, looking at the white and black keys

There still pockets of these attitudes, however, there are changes occurring where fathers do express how they feel and model other ways to express love and emotions. A recognition that all human beings experience emotions and need to connect, no matter who they are. There is still a ways to go, more healing is needed so everyone gets support in being who they are, as they are, in ways that support and connect with others.

A satellite dish installed on a low roof of a house, with the second story of the house behind the dish

In the meantime, I am thankful for my husband and the kind of father he has been for our son. He has been a guide and a supporter as we’ve traveled as parents with our son. I am also thankful for my Dad, who reached to connect with his children within the context of the time. I am grateful for his support when I played softball, studied math and science and did other non-girly types of activities. That freedom to explore non-typical roles continues to help me in my life. Happy Father’s Day to my husband and Dad!

Pictures taken by J.T. Harpster. Copies of select prints can be purchased at

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