Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day...

I am back in Arkansas after a great 4 days in Kansas City with the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild. Kara Paris, guild member with whom I had planned the classes and evening presentation wanted to close yesterday's class in time for me to be home on Father's Day, and yes, I've made it home safely and in plenty of time.

I want to thank all my new friends in Kansas City for the opportunity to share our  love of working with wood with each other. I want to thank them, also for their many activities as a club that encourage others to work with wood. We have watched our nation struggle and decline for too many years, but the men and women who work with wood and share freely with each other preserve something very important to the American spirit.

As described in this article, America's tale of two different dads, a report from Pew Research tells that there are two kinds of fathers in America.  There are those who take a significant role in the raising of kids and those who do not. On the one hand some fathers are very deeply engaged in parenting, while on the other, there are more single mothers and children abandoned by fathers than ever before.  Many of my friends with KCWG can describe the rewards that come from the kind of fatherhood (and grand-fatherhood) in which we are engaged in sharing what we love with our children. One of the challenges that many fathers face is that of defining meaningful roles for themselves in relation to their children. The ideas of craftsmanship and responsible creativity offer  a clear rationale for sticking things out in relationships and for making things far better for our children. And while we seem unlikely to bring forth the revolution in American education that our children most need, wisdom of the hands is not completely dependent on what happens in schools. We can take matters in our own hands, and even small gifts of our time and attention shared in the wood shop with our children can have significant effects.

Happy fathers day.  Make, fix and create.

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