A letter to my son, Justin Thorp, on his 33rd birthday
Do you remember when your kids were almost three years-old?

Have you ever wondered why your dad abandoned you as a child?

Running in a road race.
Back in the 70's, I ran in a road race in Flint, Michigan. I never had anybody to show me how to do sports. Running didn't require a teacher.

When I was younger and before I was married and had children and grandchildren, Father's Day only made the feeling of being abandoned worse.  I grew up wondering why my dad left me on the figurative side of the road and never came back.  I grew up with a dual identity where one person was part of the accepted culture and the other part of me was haunted by the realization that my dad never considered me important enough to even call or write me.

That's why I was struck by the column by David Brooks of the New York Times where he reports on research delving into the question of why dads vanish from their roles as dad.  

This is timely and relevant on the eve of Father's Day and as dads struggle with their role as fathers.  Many will run and not turn back.

The research sheds light on the reasons men leave their kids to never come back.  I always wondered why my dad did it.  What was so terrible about me and my mom that he just vanished.  He did it when I was 18 months old.  I'm now almost 71.  

I'm going to read the research more deeply this coming week.  Right now, my daughter and her husband and their three kids are coming for the weekend.    My wife and I are busy getting ready.  

For the dad who's struggling and for the son who's feeling less of a person, this is an important discussion.  It's vital.

Comments