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Thread: Fatherhood

  1. #1
    Không biết mình là ai nữa Tu-An's Avatar
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    Default Fatherhood

    I never knew my father. Not at all. He may as well never have existed. Except… he did exist. And I met him. And it was the strangest experience of my life.

    When my mom was very young, she met my dad and got married. It was probably a mistake. She was too young to know the difference between loving someone and needing someone. She needed someone to take her away from the life she had had, and she thought that that meant that she loved him. My father was a way for her to get out… away from her mother, away from the hopelessness of her own life. He was an escape in her eyes.

    It's unfortunate that she didn't realize that he wasn't really someone who would "save" her. She jumped at the first chance she had to leave her old life behind, never realizing that the life she was running to would be no better. Soon after they married, the bright future she had envisioned seemed to fade. He didn't seem to love her and every day they seemed to like each other less and less.
    And then she thought that if they had a child, things would change, just as when she thought that if she got married, things would change. I was born. And things did change. They got worse. Maybe he didn't want to be burdened with a child. Maybe he resented her for bringing someone else into their "family". Maybe he just saw no more reasons to stay around. In any event, he left her. He took off. There was no divorce. There was no warning. He just abandoned her to a two-year-old child and a life that turned out wrong.

    I don't know how she dealt with that. She had no "husband". She had no family support. And yet, for ten years, she raised me as best she could, all alone. She sacrificed herself to exhausting jobs that paid little. She'd work two or three shifts a day. We'd move from state to state, every time she couldn't find the money to pay the rent. I'd move from school to school, never knowing how long we'd stay, never wanting to find a best friend… because I knew that sooner or later we'd have to leave.
    And yet, there was always food on the table. There were always clothes on my back. Somehow, someway, she kept me insulated, protected from the harsh reality that she faced every day. I was already twelve years old before I knew we were poor… because I never knew there could be something different. It was only when we moved to an area where my friends were well off that I began to realize how poor we were, how much difficulty and fear my mom had to face every day. I can't really imagine how terrible it must have felt to never know if your paycheck would cover all the bills for that month, how it must have felt to pack up and leave your home every time you lost a job. I can't imagine that, because, as I said, she protected me from that, taking it all on herself. I don't know if I could ever be that strong… but she was.

    And when I was sixteen, my father re-entered our lives. We had moved back to our original home area, and he called, wanting to see me. My mom did not want to see him, did not want to have anything to do with him, but she gave me the choice. She told me that as a young adult, I had the right to make that decision myself. I never knew him as a man… only as a rumor, a person that was rarely spoken of, and never in a good way. I hated him… not for leaving me, but for leaving my mom, for making her fend for herself, for making her suffer and struggle so much. But I was curious. I felt that I had to meet him, just on the one in a million chance that I was wrong about him… just in case there had been a good reason that he had left. And so I told my mom that we should meet.

    And one afternoon, we did. In a park near our original home from sixteen years ago. "This is your father," my mom said as an introduction. She wasn't happy, but she wasn't rude either. And we talked. He asked me about school, about my friends, about what I wanted to do. And every moment, I was waiting for him to say it. We sat there for an hour, and every moment I was waiting, waiting to hear the words. I wanted to hear him say, "I'm sorry."

    I wanted to hear him say it. Not to me. To my mom. I wanted to hear him say that he was sorry for making her suffer. That he was sorry for making her raise me on her own. That he was sorry for choosing his own desires above his family's needs. His actions were unforgivable, but I needed to hear him apologize.

    But he didn't say it. Not once. When it was over, I didn't hate him anymore. I didn't hate him, because to me, he wasn't even worth hating. He was a stranger. A person I never knew and from then on never wanted to know. I didn't hate him anymore than I'd hate a stranger who lived ten thousand miles away in the middle of a desert. He wasn't my father, and wasn't a part of my family. I haven't seen him since, and don't believe I ever will.

    -------------
    Write down the answers given by the speakers that interested you the most, that you agreed with, or that caused you to think about the topic in a new way. You should have at least three answers per question. Complete sentences are not necessary.

    What is the most intense emotion in this piece: the child's hatred, the mother's suffering, or the father's desire to meet the child?

    How old is the speaker? Is the speaker male or female?

    Why does the father want to meet the child?

    Why does the speaker agree to meet the father?

    What is the tone of the speaker? Happy, sad, angry, calm…?

    If you were in the child's position, what would you say to the father? Would you say anything at all? Would you meet with the father?

    Will the speaker have children of his or her own? If not, why not, and if so, how will he or she treat them?


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  2. #2
    Bận rộn với ăn và ngủ pink's Avatar
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    Thank you, cô TuAn for a nice story and the questions that I based on to write this essay.

    *********
    The story entitled Fatherhood told us about an incident, meeting the father, which happened at the writer`s age of 16. The author did not mention about her/his gender, current age, and even the name; instead, she focused on expressing the emotion after talking to the father. This factor made me feel like her/his own scenes for the father who abandoned his own child and wife could be of any child in the same situation, at any age. With me, the one who has loved and sheltered by both mom and dad, it was hard to fully understand the author`s feeling of hating the father. For that reason, let me propose the author was a girl as me in hopping that I could answer questions better. At the first time reading, I thought the author would be angry or sad for the mother, but after all, her love toward the mother lasted in me.



    The most intense emotion covering the piece could not be the child`s hated toward the father. In essence, she mentioned that she had hated him only once: “I hated him… not for leaving me, but for leaving my mom, for making her fend for herself, for making her suffer and struggle so much. But I was curious.” She hated him for abandoning her beloved mom. However, I do not think she agreed to meet him due to curiosity, but in hope that she was wrong about him. Actually, she longed to have logical explanations and an acceptable apology. Therefore, she could forgive. Nonetheless, the hope suddenly appeared when the father called to be met. Yet, the hoping was very minute and persisted shortly. As a result, after the meeting, the little hope bubble`s burst could not cover the story by disappointment or resentment for the father. Moreover, she felt peaceful for releasing from the frosty father that was why she could calmly write down her “strangest experience”. The father, with her, is no more than a stranger passed by.


    Additionally, the emotion covering the piece could not be the mournfulness due to mother’s woes, neither. The author did not picture the life of the poor single mom had to face with in detail. Accordingly, in two paragraphs that described the mom’ harsh life, by using the phrases such as: “no husband”, “no family”, “alone”, “she kept me insulated”, and so forth, the author emphasized on the mother’ effort to content the child on her own. Consequently, the readers could feel her magnitude love and appreciation toward the mother. Thereupon, because of the mother’ love for her, I thought she would have her own kids, and shelter them by all her love like the respectful mother did.


    Finally, if I was her, I would never meet him. I would never let that man whirl our life. He abandoned me when I was two years old. He left his hopeless wife alone in this chaos world because of his own happiness. Has he ever thought of us even in a minute? It was not impossible to find us; but, in 14 years, he has never. Personally, I do not know why the father wants to met the child. He wanted to know how bad a child would be without an irresponsible and heartless father, didn’t he? Moreover, a person`s life is not the park that he can come and go anytime he wants. Further, the most important is the mother was too hurt enough to be evoked the distressful memories that she has attempted to forget.

    **************
    Please, correct my essay, teachers and friends.

    Truly appreciate,


    Last edited by pink; Jun 11, 2011 at 03:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Read...Listen...Learn DailyNews-'s Avatar
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    The story entitled Fatherhood recalled an incident, in which at sixteen the writer met her/his biological father for the first time since his abandonment of the family. The author did not mention her/his gender, current age, or name; instead the story focused on the emotions after the meeting with the father. This story of a father whom abandoned his own child and wife could happen to any child.To me, someone who has been loved and sheltered by my parents, it is hard to fully understand the author’s feeling of hatred toward the father. For that reason, let me propose that the author was a girl in hoping that I could answer questions better. At first reading, I thought the author would be angry or sad for the mother.

    The most intense emotion covering the piece is not the child’s hatred toward the father. She mentioned that she had hated him only once: “I hated him… not for leaving me, but for leaving my mom, for making her fend for herself, for making her suffer and struggle so much. But I was curious.” She hated him for abandoning her beloved mom. However, I do not think she agreed to meet him due to curiosity, but in hope that she was wrong about him. She longed to receive logical explanations and a sincere apology, so she could forgive him. Nonetheless, the feeling of hope suddenly appeared when the father requested a meeting. Yet, hope persisted only shortly. As a result, after the meeting, the little bubble of hope burst and followed by disappointment with the father. Moreover, she felt peaceful for releasing from the frosty father that was why she could calmly write down her “strangest experience” (I do not understand this sentence). The father is no more than a passerby.

    The emotion covering the piece could not be the mournfulness due to
    the mother’s woes. The author did not describe the struggles of a poor single mom in detail. The harsh life suffered by the mother was described as follow: “no husband”, “no family”, “alone”, “she kept me insulated”, and so forth, the author emphasized the mother’ effort to provide for the child on her own. Consequently, the readers could feel her unsurpassed love and appreciation toward the mother. Thereupon, because of the mother’ love for her, I thought she would have her own kids, and shelter them like the respectful mother.


    Finally, if I were her, I would never meet him. I would never let such a man whirl my life. He abandoned me when I was two years old. He left his hopeless wife under chaotic circumstances because of his own happiness. Has he ever thought of us even for a minute? It was not impossible to find us; but, in 14 years, he has never attempted. Personally, I do not know why the father wanted to meet the child. Did he truly care for the outcome of his child or feeling of guilt from an irresponsible and heartless father that compelled him to meet his daughter? Moreover, a person’s life is not a park that he can come and go anytime he wants. Further, the most important observation is the mother was too hurt and attempted to forget the distressful memories.

    Pink,
    Focus on eliminating excessive words to produce tighter and clearer sentences.

    Hope things are going well,
    Dailynews-


  4. #4
    ESE Student Blissful Blessing's Avatar
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    When I first glanced at the title, I had thought that it would be just another piece of writing about how wonderful a father is, or perhaps another praise upon fatherhood. But after finishing the first several sentences, I was thrown into curiosity and intrigued to read to the end.

    The writing has the undertone of several strong emotions and the most distinguished are anger, disappointment, and regret. The author expressed a strong resentment and anger toward his father for leaving his mom to care for the baby all by herself without any definite finalization of the relationship. He was angry that after all those years his father suddenly wanted to come back into his life but showing no regret whatsoever for his passed behavior. From anger, the feeling moves on to disappointment when the writer expressed his hope and waited for the father to apologize to his mom. While his mom had been courteous all along during the meeting but his father never uttered an apology, he was disappointed that his secret hope of a remorseful father had never come to reveal itself. Through the difference in each of his parents’ behavior, he also expressed many regrets throughout the writing. There was the feeling of regret for being so naïve to not realize how poor they were and how much hardship his mom had gone through during his younger years. There was the feeling of regret for accepting the chance to see his father with the hopeful venture of his father’s repentance of the past but to no avail.

    From the tone of the writing, I suppose that the writer is an 18 years old male. He did mention that his father left them when he was two, and then came back wanted to see him after sixteen years. The author expresses a deep love and respect for his mother, yet portraits little if not lack the understanding of a female counterpart. He knows of his mother’s suffering yet he could relate very little with her emotions and feelings.

    The author did not mention why the father wanted to meet him, but I think he just wanted to know of his existence for the sake of knowing. For many of us, we as human do not cope well with the feeling of not knowing, not having a finalization. This trait as human is being shown very clearly in this writing from the father’s initiation to see the child to the child’s acceptance to meet him. They both know of each other existence but have little idea of each other and thus they are drawn to meet to be able to “close the chapter” in each other’s lives.

    Although each of the emotions in the writing is intense, the tone of the writing remains very calm. There was anger, but there was also acceptance. There was disappointment, and there was also realization that the father was never the prominent figure in throughout the child’s life.

    If I were the child I would meet the father and I would ask for an explanation for leaving us, for shredding away his responsibility as a parent. Although I know that nothing can change whether I know or not knowing the answer, I still want to hear it from the father. I would not have anything to say much to him unless, like the author had secretly hoped, the father apologizes to my mom for neglecting her. I might not have a lot to say to him but I would meet him and I would lift my head high to show him that we managed just fine without him and his cowardice.

    I believe that nothing can prevent the author to have children of his own, and when he does, he will love them and treat them lovingly as a parent should on the contrary of his own father. It will always be the constant reminder for him of the responsibility of a parent.

    Last edited by Blissful Blessing; Jun 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #5
    ESE Student Clueless's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Blissful Blessing’s writing, so when she tells a story, I would click right in. I still remember her first entry about her touch of reminiscence and her obsession with cutting hair, including the hair of her neighbor’s exotic dog. I was looking for them again, but they were buried somewhere in the forum; I could not find them.

    When seeing her post, I first read her piece then I read Fatherhood. Throughout the story, I did not feel the intense emotion. The author seemed to be quite calm when telling the story. Well, maybe it was just the reader’s current state of mind instead. I have not been too excited about things lately. However, I can somehow feel the author’s respect and love for the mother. Though sentiment was not stated, the author has drawn up a clear image of the mother, which exhibits the warm feeling of the painter. Hence, I came to appreciate the writing style of the 16-year-old girl who has such talent when telling the story.

    Yes, I believe the author is a girl. Though not an expert, I think that only girls can have such sympathy for the mother’s suffrage. It is only girls who could put themselves in the mother’s shoes, “I don’t know if I could ever be as strong.” Boys do not usually see themselves raising a child out of wedlock.

    In addition, the fact that the mother came along and stayed around during the conversation confirmed that the author must be a girl. If the author had been a 16-year-old boy, he would have asked his mother not to come with him, especially when she did not want to see or have anything to do with the father. She would let the boy have a man-to-man talk with his old man. He needed to prove his independence and adulthood to the father he had never met. Girls usually need moms when dealing with such emotional situation. Boys, on the other hand, prefer hiding their feelings especially in front of their moms.

    So they met- father and daughter after 14 years apart. The conversation was quite predictable. After a moment of awkward silence, the father would start by thanking the mom then the girl for agreeing to meet with him. Of course, like every teenager, the first word that came out of the girl’s mouth was why. “Why do you want to meet us, father?” I think Blissful was quite right in her opinion. Curiosity and the need for a closure were the perfect explanation. Both the father and the child had gone through life wondering what happened to the other so now, when there was a chance for the answer, they took it.

    It is understandable that what the father did was inexcusable. However, I wonder if he can ever be forgiven. People make mistakes. The father made mistakes; the mother made mistakes.

    It was easy to blame the father because the author told us nothing about him other than his leaving her and her mom. It was also simple to take the mother’s side; she was a hero.

    However, was it fair if the father had to take all the blames? Had the mother not used him as her ticket to leave town? Did she not intend to use the child to tie him down without discussing with him? Should the father, then was a young boy, appreciate being trapped by the mother, not once but twice?

    What would we think if the father left because he wanted to give the mother and the child a chance to have a better life, to meet a better man who was a better provider? We probably heard cases when a desperate mother left her newborn child at the front door of a rich family or a temple, hoping the child’s life would turn out well, and we all feel for the mother. Would we not feel the same for the father? What if the mother met a rich and handsome man who would help raised a perfect family after the father left? Would our hatred for the father be any less?

    Would the girl, though still went through the same emotional stages, lean more toward indifference or even sympathy? Would she have blamed the mom as well, knowing that her parents’ marriage, after all, was just a matter of convenience, and her birth was not a product of love but of the mother’s ignorance and misconception?

    Anyway, if I were the daughter, I would not mind meeting the father. As Blissful said, they needed a closure. I would not care to ask for the reason of his leaving. The past should stay where it was, and the outcome would depend on circumstances and the chemistry. If the family was meant to be together, that would be fine; otherwise, that is life.

    However, I could surely learn from the mom’s mistakes: Many things in life cannot be gained through shortcuts, or there would be undesirable consequences. Furthermore, unless we are extremely lucky, we have to be on our own through proper planning, perseverance, and hard work, not by marrying. And that is what I will tell my children.

    Last edited by Clueless; Jun 17, 2011 at 11:17 PM.