“A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be.”
Now there’s the essence of fatherhood. I have a similar albeit less poignant story about what it means to be a father.
The Immortal Cinderella
When my daughter was little, she had a plastic Cinderella statue that she carried everywhere, day and night. It broke many times, in many places, including the arms, legs, and elbows. And every time that little plastic Cinderella broke, she asked me if I could fix it, and I did. She was especially upset when the head broke off while playing outside. I will always remember her entering the house with a long face and a quivering lower lip and holding out the headless Cinderella. But, without fail, I made sure that plastic statue was ready for action the next day.
This became a challenge for me, to constantly resurrect this doll, using tape, filler, sandpaper and any one of 5 different kinds of glue. Of course, there came a point where my daughter lost interest in the statue and gave it to her younger sister. Imagine my surprise when her little sister first gave me the broken Cinderella and asked with sad and teary eyes: “could you fix this, Papa?” A toast to fathers.
To Fathers To Be
But there’s another group of men out there who I would like to recognize on Father’s Day: those who are fathers-to-be. As a men’s fertility specialist, I meet these men on a daily basis. They are strong, motivated and eager to satisfy the hopes and dreams of their partners. Some will become fathers and others won’t. Regardless, they will fight the good fight and hold their head high, braving the ravages of guilt, depression, anger and even divorce.
Nobody asks these men how they are doing or how they feel. For the most part they suffer alone. They are truly the unsung heroes of a silent and wretched disease; one that in many cases was handed to them without choice. As we have witnessed in this forum infertility can be life changing, just like having cancer. So what is a man to do?
In the words of C.S. Lewis ”What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.” For these fathers-to-be, and for the steps that they take in desperation and desperately want to take, I salute you on Father’s Day. And stay tuned, as I have something special for you to be announced on that day.