In response to Belinda Brown: Shannon Robertshaw will discover that a child needs a father, Groan wrote:
My father died suddenly when I was 8 and my brother 4. Of course there were and are difficulties and scars. But my mother always kept alive the story of my father and indeed their life together. So in an age where single parent families were a rarity of course questions were asked and prejudices exhibited, but my brother and I knew that my father and mother both loved us and just cruel chance robbed us.
There is such a world of difference between people doing their very best with the cards and circumstances they are dealt and those so selfish to create damage out of self absorption. I have had children myself and am probably nothing more than an average parent.
As I write I’m watching a programme following some trawler men. They are young and talking about their new children and their relationships. I guess no one’s interested in men’s perspectives, but it chimes so much with my experience that these men find having children a part of giving meaning to their lives and in this case the privations of their work. What really does seem to have gone is the notion that all parties in a family gain from their interdependence and the whole is so much greater than the self interest of the “parts”.