What image comes to mind when you hear the term father? Someone old and bald? Young and fearless? Someone clad in scrubs, a business suit, or a chef’s hat? A person sitting behind an easel, painting, or in front of a computer screen, writing?
When I think of a father, or those people who‘ve served as father figures to me over the years, many images emerge: weathered hands, broad smiles, mischievous eyes, strong arms, gentle hugs. I hear laughter and wise words and feel warmth and connection. I think of talking with a graduate school professor about the death of my grandfather and learning what it means to be compassionate. I think of advice given by a mentor about what career to pursue and learning what it means to be inspiring. I think of watching my neighbor teach his daughter how to ride a bicycle and learning what it means to be patient. I think of listening to my own father talk about his job and learning what it means to be passionate.
Those random moments might not have stood out to the other individuals involved, but something in each interaction resonated with me, affected me deeply, and shaped the woman I am today.
Part of who we become depends on what our fathers and father figures teach us, not only when we seek them out for knowledge, but also when they aren’t necessarily trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom collected in the course of simple human interaction, at any time, in any place.
Welcome to the June issue, where we celebrate all the fathers and father figures in our lives.
We’re taking a short break in July and August, but we’ll be back with your favorite magazine features in September. Until then, feel free to spend some time with our archives.
P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. Also, explore our archives to discover more mothers’ voices!
The Palms of Their Hands by Emily Mace
Cloth Box by Diana Michelle Love
Points by Ben Berman
Driveway Chat about Baby Penises by Mary Ellen Talley
What the Digital Sign Flashed at Me as I Drove Downtown by Rebecca Hart Olander
A Review of Starting with Goodbye by Janet Irvin
A Review of The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide by Susan Barr-Toman
A Review of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams by Joe Bueter
Images by Jennifer Gemar, Carlynne Hershberger, Sue Kohler, Sayle Moser, Rudri Patel, Elisa Sciorilli, Bailey Torres, and Heather Vrattos