Do you remember when your kids were almost three years-old?
The sun is shining a little brighter today in St. Louis today because of my three-year-old grandson

Should we try to understand deadbeat dads before we hammer them with jail and prison?


Have you ever tried to understand why your father was a deadbeat dad?  Do you ask yourself why he kicked you and your mom to the side of the road where the vultures circle overhead?

I've looked for answer to my own situation all my life  and maybe I've found a glimmer of light.  For far too long, this question beset me with all kinds of personal doubt about myself.  Did it affect me?  I didn't want it to, but it did and it still affects me much like a scab or scar that just won't go away.

Yesterday, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote about dads who abandon their kids and about research that sheds light on why they do it.

If I understand the research and its conclusions, my dad may have been looking for what I already have.  He was born in rural New England to a poor family that seemed to have no glue to hold it together.  There weren't many examples for him of loving and viable marriage relationships.  He was dead in the water as far as relationships go even before he got started.  

He knew the sex and procreation part, but he knew nothing about relationships with the opposite sex and how to make them work.  

When things fell part with my mom and the other women he had kids with he left to never be found again, except I found him when I was in my late twenties.  He still didn't want me.  I took that pretty personally.

Why do I keep writing about this?  Not for sympathy.  I'm not looking for it.  I'm trying to dissect my feelings about someone  who has been a weight on me and my self-confidence for most of my memory.

Maybe my dad wasn't the asshole I thought he was, somebody who deserved to be thrown into a prison cell with somebody who could help even the score.

I'm trying to absorb this.  Maybe others who have similar experiences can take a piece of this to help them.  I'm trying to put my feelings in words.

If this is too serious or receptive, feel free to move on to other posts.  I will be writing more about this until I'm satisfied that I have an answer that I'm comfortable with and that's worth sharing.