Pretty freaking important.
Reminds me of a certain beautiful child I know who is missing some massively important neural connections because of his mother's decision to drink like a fish while she was growing him. There's just stuff missing. Stuff that can't be replaced. The compromised result is pretty devastating, like a row of carrots that got planted with the corn and never got the sun or moisture that they needed to get orange and thick and juicey. It's insanely unjust on so many levels.
Follow the analogy. The pregnant drunk made a choice to drink. The emotionally absent father makes a choice to shut down. Of course, it's all layered in far reaching complications. The poor choices were probably fueled by their own impoverished history of crummy parenting, and they themselves are the walking wounded, not recognizing that the power of changing history rests with them.
But I don't feel like sticking up for the generation one back right now. I want to be mad about the people right now who are stunted because of what they didn't get. I want free corrective surgery for the wounded. And I want to walk right up to dead beat dads and ask them- Was it worth it? Was it easier to disengage? Is it rewarding to avoid eye contact, or are you afraid that I can see directly into your soul?
It bugs me that dads are just people who got the testosterone ration, turn the lights out and release some of that pent-up repression and then land up as surprised fathers nine months later. I wish you`d have to have some sort of a clue of what you were getting into. What is required. What is the minimum amount of time, energy, teaching, and unconditional love it takes to raise a decently balanced kid. I wish these guys would have had an epiphany back in their twenties or thirties. I don`t think it`s ever too late to start being an engaged dad. Clearly a bunch of stages are erevocably lost, but I think most people`s hearts are always thirsting for that daddy recognition. I bet a bunch of those neural connections could grow themselves later on in life if a daddy would wake up and smell the coffee.
There is a stupid amount of unnecessary wounded in this life. The little people without a decent gestational chance have only got that much to go on. I am sure there is no medical intervention that will ever change how they developed in those crucial nine months.
And the rest of us? What are we doing to not repeat history? Granted, we`ve all got our own scars to work around, and we`ll all mess up our kids and relationships in one way or another.
Just, for crying out loud- can we get real? Can we face up to our humanness, maybe choke out a sorry now and again, maybe get the nerve to look inside and recognize the grip that fear has had on us, and how staring it in the face might weaken it a whole bunch?
Sometimes the cheap Redi-Fill that people use to patch up their crippled selves really gets on my nerves. It`s hard and painful work to face up to your crap, but so is passing your crap on to the next generation.