Finding Dad

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.

Sigmund Freud

                 This father’s day I am looking forward to honoring my husband, Dennis, an amazing father to our two little ones, with extra sleep, breakfast, beer, maybe a lobster roll on a beach, or anything else he may want in addition to the smeary clay pottery the kids made for him that says  “I love you Daddy.”   For me seeing my kids celebrate Daddy is more than just a fun day in June.  It’s proof of an awesome monumental shift in my own life that started with my father righting a wrong.

      Like so many other kids in America I grew up fatherless.  When I got old enough to wonder who my real father was I found him, and he happened to become the Governor of Rhode Island so it was easy for me to find his work address pre-Google to send him a letter.  It would take many more letters and  phone calls from me, and eventually lawyers, to make my father acknowledge me. It was messy, and difficult, but the happy ending is why I wrote a memoir called Finding Dad: From Love Child to Daughter.  I want people to know it’s never too late to forgive.  I want Fathers to know your kids need you to be a Dad, so even if you messed up go back and ask for a re-do.

 

    My father did a 180.  He asked me to come and live with him as I was about to turn 18 so we could get to know each other.  I did and met the other half of me.  My father’s entrance into my life felt like someone poured concrete into my shaky foundation.  My mother was a devoted single mom, but she was only half of the recipe that I needed to feel safe in the world.

     We are becoming a fatherless America with one out of every three births occurring outside a marriage and many fathers have little or no connection with their children.  If we want a healthy, stable, and yes prosperous America we need fathers.  Just look a what Freud taught us at the top of this post.  On the journey to find my father I found myself as I went from love child to daughter.  My father righted his wrongs in moments.  There was no long maudlin speech about messing up, we used humor to ease the awkwardness like when a woman said “Governor can you kiss my baby,” at a political event and he said to her “Have you met my new baby?” putting his arm around me.  He walked me down the aisle and handed me over the a great guy that has become the father every little girl dreams of.  Stats show, and I believe, I wouldn’t have ended up with such a loving, healthy marriage, without a father.  My father healed me by doing things for my children he missed with me, little things like getting ice cream on Father’s Day.  I’ve learned forgiveness is a tunnel to love. So on this Father’s day have fun kicking a ball, relaxing at the beach, opening up sweet gifts and know you matter. If things aren’t good with your kids, make them right.  America needs dads.

I thank my dad for making it all better.

My book Finding Dad: From Love Child to Daughter comes out this fall. Learn more here:

http://behlerpublications.com/titles-sundlun.shtml

8 thoughts on “Finding Dad

  1. Mary-Jo Young

    Kara,
    I can’t wait to get your book. We are avid Channel 3 news watchers as well as Better Ct. Congratulations! I was hoping you would be doing a book signing for those of us in the “forgotten part of the state”, Danbury .. you know, the part of the state everyone thinks is actually NY. We don’t watch ANY NY stations!!

    Reply
      1. Mary-Jo Young

        I did read about RJ Julia, but unfortunately that is still a trek for us. I was hoping you might one day soon be in the western part of the state, but I understand your days are pretty full already. We can only hope because I would love to have you autograph the book. I hope you feel better.

  2. Mary-Jo Young

    OMG! First, congratulations on the book launch yesterday! Also, excitement is an understatement when I heard you announce on Better Ct today that you will be at Barnes & Noble in Danbury in December .. my wish has come true! But .. I can’t find the date for that yet anywhere. Do you know when that will be so I can circle my calendar and make sure nothing keeps me from being there? I will be getting my book soon and can’t wait to meat you. We are avid fans of Channel 3 and Better Ct and I love your professionalism when dealing with “our Scot”!
    Mary-Jo

    Reply
      1. Mary-Jo Young

        Thank you so much for getting back to me. I’ve just marked the calendar and wanted to let you know that I purchased your book today and started reading it for the hour I was getting an MRI of my knee. I was able to do that because only my leg was in “the tube” :)) I just love your mastery of the written word and find it very easy to read. I know you will make an impact on everyone who reads your story, and I will be sending one to my aunt who moved to NC this summer. She was also an avid Channel 3 watcher. Looking forward to meeting you on 12/6!

      2. Mary-Jo Young

        Kara, I just looked on our Barnes & Noble site and I don’t see you listed. Are you still planning on being here at 2pm on 12/6? If so, maybe you should contact them and make sure something is put on their site and in the paper.
        Mary-Jo

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