A thoughtful blog today, as I reflect on Easter. I have fond memories of Easter with my boys, Easter-egg hunts with them in the Highlands of Scotland, and at the In–laws hiding paper eggs and Easter-eggs for them and their cousins to collect. Easter is a good time for family.
This year I spent most of Easter Sunday alone as the boys are on holiday with my ex-wife in Scotland enjoying the same Easter-egg hunts with their cousins, something I have now been removed from. I didn’t get a phone call or a hello from them, not because of them but because their mother didn’t deem it worthwhile, despite me sending them a Happy Easter text in the morning. Easter time is a time for reflection and family. It has been over-commercialised with chocolate and I think many children don’t understand its true meaning.
I spoke with both my parents on Easter Sunday with two very different outcomes. They were both worried about how I am doing, but have two different approaches: one smothering and trying to think for me, the other standing back and helping when I need it, catching if I fall or ready to catch if required. It made me think about how I want my children to see me. I am not from a moneyed background and don’t have a rich dad to help out if necessary, and so I hope they will get a feeling of hard work and family first, and realise that love and support isn’t just about money. It’s about being there, and it’s about understanding that people help in the way they see best and not always the way you need it or want it. It doesn’t stop them trying to help.
I think of my boys and wonder if they have yet to learn the real meaning of Easter, of sacrifice and rebirth. As Dads we sacrifice so much for our children, which often goes unnoticed. We lose out from day one because society sees Mum as the Nurturer and Dad as the Protector and Provider which, given modern society, is as out-dated as a horse and cart is for regular transport. It is interesting that Mums are pushing for the role of a stay-at-home mum to be recognised, but they don’t talk of stay-at-home parents, let alone Dads. As an entertainer I sacrificed my career and business to support my wife and travel around the country as she progressed in her career. In a marriage it is seen as supportive, in a divorce it is being lazy and not providing.
As parents we are willing to sacrifice things for the love of our children. Perhaps at Easter during family-time we should acknowledge and recognise the sacrifices we make for each other: from not going out to football training so your wife can go out, to losing overtime so you can do bath night; from not getting the car you want but the one with the extra space for a buggy just in case, to giving up on your dreams for a secure job. Perhaps also we as children should also reflect on the sacrifices made for us by our parents.
However Easter is also a time of regeneration, rebirth and resurrection. Perhaps those of us who are separated, divorced or going through the process should look at this time of year as a chance to reflect and be reborn, to find the inner strength to do what we need and want to do in life. We should try letting go of resentment and hatred, forging new relationships with those that we know and have yet to know. More importantly it is a time of forgiveness, forgiving those we have loved in the past who hurt us now and continue to, often because they can. We don’t need to forget, but forgive and move on, making relationships stronger with our children because they can see we are moving forward.
I have spent time reflecting on my relationship with my children, and I know I am a good father and that I will be better. I know my relationship with my children is being controlled by my ex-wife. I know I can forgive her actions, as (to paraphrase the words of Jesus on the cross) “she knows not what she does”. I move forward like we should all do, looking at the beauty of where we are going, not constantly looking over our shoulder regretting the beauty and opportunities we missed in the past.