I just did a weekend workshop with around 170 men. Different men; biker dudes, guys out of prison on parole, young guys out of gangs, business men, artists, and lots of contractors - certainly an interesting mix. It was an intense and wonderful weekend, changed my life in more ways than I expected. Many things about relationship with women, and being men.
I really got to look at the term "the feminized male" which is basically a man who was raised by women who missed out on being raised by a man - big difference. I have some of that but have done much personal work that I am pretty balanced and certainly able and enjoy hanging with many men of all types.
I was sleeping in this morning, after I had gotten my youngest girl up to shower and told her she's on her own for breakfast and making her lunch (which is usual on dad day), and that she should wake me up before she leaves. Her older sister is in bed sick and staying home today. Mom comes in to wake me up, anger in her vioice, triggered by something. She tells me that my daughter needs me in the kitchen.... to just to be with her.
Hum... when I check in with my daughter and we talk, she said mom "put words into her mouth." She was actually fine and doing what she was asked and needed to do. She's a moody and sluggish kid in the morning anyway.
I wanted her to experience being independent this morning. Part of my dad teachings.
I learned more for this weekend that women are more emotional and that I can just let them be and not get triggered for trying to correct them - that's a no win situation. To just be empowered and not engage emotionally in those few moments was priceless.
I realize my time is coming to an end in what I can teach my girls. They are becoming full students of my wife and that is none of my business. I do still have a job to be their dad, to teach them things about the world; how to use tools, connect to nature, and learn about men by being an example, for I know the partner they pick (straight or gay) is deeply molded by part of me, who I am, what I do, and how I am being.
Image from The Art of Being A Dad (the first seven years).