In Assignment, I Saw Myself and My Son

I'm always up for helping out a colleague, but I hesitated when asked to help produce a story on teenagers growing up without their fathers - afraid the story was too personal to cover. I haven't lived with my 5-year-old son in three years. He currently lives in Italy, so we don't see each other as much as I would like. There's one long stint - about two months - in summer, two weeks for Christmas, and around 10 days for his birthday in March.

I ended up doing the story. To my surprise, the kids actually lined up to talk about a subject that most hadn't even discussed with their mothers. They needed to talk about how it felt to grow up without a father, and I needed to hear what they had to say.

Most of the kids were angry because their fathers never followed up on their promises. Some fathers never called their children; some forgot their birthdays. All the kids wanted, it seems, was to spend some quality time with their dads. I got the impression that although they were managing very well, the teenagers had a gaping hole where their fathers were supposed to be.

The assignment forced me to reflect on my situation. It was definitely therapeutic for me and, I think, for the kids, too.

Pierre Kattar & Ben de la Cruz / washingtonpost.com

By Pierre Kattar |  January 12, 2007; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Documentary Video , Pierre Kattar
Previous: More Than Music |

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Why do so many fathers leave??

Posted by: Weston | January 12, 2007 02:36 PM

Pierre, isn't is neat that the things that seem like the hardest projects to take on are sometimes the best in hindsight? Congrats on doing it!

Posted by: SM | January 12, 2007 05:43 PM

you should now start talking to experts from the left right and middle. how did the phenomena of abandoned fatherhood get this far, how it affects the abandoned children in their relationship with women and their abandoning their own children, and solutions. you need to express the views of experts from different schools of thought, and as importantly the studies they use to draw their conclusions as to cause and solution. abandoned sons create the vacuum which create the gang as a substitue family.
nice article
sal

Posted by: sal | January 14, 2007 01:18 PM

how can any one live without seeing their children grow ?

Posted by: vikram | January 16, 2007 05:52 AM

how can any one live without seeing their children grow ?

Posted by: vikram | January 16, 2007 05:53 AM

Hello,
Very nice video. Can I ask what kind of video camera you used?

Posted by: Lisa | January 23, 2007 03:49 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2006 The Washington Post Company