Is it harder for a daughter or a son to grow up without a Daddy?

fatherless daughter fatherless son

I visited my brother this past weekend. We’re officially the same age, until my birthday this fall. In our 24 years of life, this is the first time we’ve spent a birthday together.

It’s funny how we grew up in different homes in different states with different mothers and still essentially ended up the same person.


We both inherited Buddha’s talent as a writer. He writes song (and sings them) and I write poems. We’re both extremely talkative, which our mothers never hesitate to remind us of and often interrupt our stories. And we’re both beginning to find our own voice at 24.


I watched my brother snap at his mom for the first time this weekend. I was shocked, but I empathized with his frustration.

He was telling a story and she kept interrupting him. I had a recent blow up with my mom because I finally stuck up for myself in a similar situation.

On the evening of his birthday I sat beside his mom on the couch swapping stories with his aunt, a social worker, about my experiences as a teacher and as an observer in a mental health clinic.

uh my birthday

We shared how our thoughts on motherhood and language changed based on the things we’ve witnessed. How phrases like “I love you” make children uncomfortable because it may remind them of abuse. How my brother’s new friendship with a deaf person has shaped his appreciation for his senses & how we both have a new found respect for homeless folk.

On Sunday, his mom left for a day trip and I should have been back on the road to get home at a decent time to prepare myself for the work week. Instead, I chose to stay and get a few hours alone with the brother I love the most and see the least.


He opened up to me about how in his perspective it was harder as a boy not to have a father.

He spoke of being a fifth wheel on his friends’ Father-Son Fishing Trips. How he wanted to be a pitcher, but had no father to play catch with. How he knew, even though his friends’ fathers wanted to help him, they would never help him be better than their sons, so he trained and timed himself. We were interrupted by his girlfriend’s arrival, but it felt good to just listen. In the eight years since I met him, we never really discussed Buddha & I never knew a son’s perspective on Dealing with Daddy Issues.

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