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Preface to A Father’s Journal

[ 0 ] July 2, 2011 |

A Fathers Journal was born along with my first child in 1994.  Fatherhood at 35 was so overwhelming and awe inspiring  I felt deeply the need to write my way through it. Knowing I wrote best when I had an audience, I imagined an old couple tucked away in the country and tried to explain my new life to them, as a way, I now suspect, of explaining it to myself.

As well as it being my early days of fatherhood, it was also the early days of the web, and new, original content was scarce.  Since, on the side, I was learning this new thing called HTML, to help pay my way through school, it made simple sense to publish these essays online.  A sort of blog evolved, before the term had even been coined.

As A Father’s Journal grew the essays were noticed, picked up and serialized on several web sites, in print newsletters and newspapers, and, at least once, incorporated into a church sermon. The site won some praise and awards (see below). There was even talk of publishing a book.

For ten years I would periodically add essays to this collection.  After the first five years our son was born.  And after ten, after I had (finally) finished graduate school and was developing a new career, as my writing focus shifted, I wrote my last A Father’s Journal essay, about my father and my grandfather.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it was appropriately the final chapter for the collection of 31 essays.

If fills me with pride and nostalgia to read back through these snapshots, to be reminded of my children when they were young, of my young family, of the world we lived in then.  My kids are teenagers now, one almost off to college, the other entering moody adolescence.  I’m proud of the journey my wife and I have traveled with them, are still traveling, the adventures, usually unexpected, we share, the anger, tears and love.

This year, seven years after the final A Father’s Journal essay, I am republishing all 31 essays as part of a new (real) blog.  Together this collection, these chapters, tell part of the story of one new northern New England family as it crossed the millennium in America, from 1994 to 2004.

I hope you find something of meaning in A Father’s Journal.  I’m curious about your thoughts.  Maybe you were that old couple in the country I was writing for.  Please comment or contact me anytime.

Peace.

-Forrest
http://www.fathersjounal.com

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Accolades for the early version of A Father’s Journal

Awards
ABC’s of Parenting
 


The Mining Company


World Village
Family Site
of the Day

 

Praise

    This is a beautiful site, both for its images and its words.

Pamela O’Connell
The Mining Co. Guide to Personal Web Pages

 


As a half-time single father, I enjoyed reading through your essays.

Rick Robins
Dir. of Operations, Whole Family Vision, Inc.

 


I love your story. I found your pages somehow and am amazed with your honest question about your path. Thank you again for your insights.

Eva Rose Collins, Publisher
Yoga Community Newsletter – Healing through speaking and listening

 


I love the Father’s Journal site, so chock full of decent wisdom and intelligent self-reflection.

Jay Mandel
Virginia Barber Literary Agency

 


We believe that your site is of real value to the people who use our site, and we believe many of them will want to see what you have to offer.

Travis Smith, Times Pick coordinator
Los Angeles Times

 


I love your site! I think many fathers – and mothers – can truly benefit from reading your articles. Thank you for such an excellent resource. It’s a wonderful, gentle, nurturing, yet very “fatherly” site!

Jan Hunt, M.Sc., Director
Natural Child Project

 


Thanks again for producing a high quality site that children and adults may use!

Rich Cunningham
WorldVillage

 


Your first-person accounts of fathering are interesting. We only just discovered your web site, and were impressed with your writing.

Ian Washburn, Editor
M.E.N. Magazine

 


I have read most of your essays and would love to include some of them into Father’s World.

David Drucker
Founder, Fathersworld

 


I have just finished reading your articles and they helped fill a large hole I have been feeling. I applaud your articles and your thoughts.

-Jeff

 


I just wanted to say that reading your article brought tears streaming down my face… I guess I just wanted to say “thank you” for sharing your story, I was very moved.

-Karri

 


I was browsing through “fatherhood” categories looking for any type of article that would help my father (a soon father-to-be-again). That is when I stumbled across your journals and read mesmerized by your writing abilities. I printed them and will mail them to my father in hopes of enlightening him and easing some anxiety. Thank you.

-Touched! (Amanda)

 


I enjoyed your writing. KEEP UP YOUR GREAT WORK.

-Terry

 


From one father to another .. thank you. I’ve enjoyed reading your material. Keep up the good work!

-Frank

 


Enjoyed your father journal! Add more musings soon! Good luck to you, your wife and Emily.

-J.

 


Keep up the good work (fathering and writing).

-Sean

 


I spent quite a bit of time on your page today. Your writing is wonderful! Got me thinking about a great many things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

-Nancy

 


Thank-You for writing this page.

-Tina

 


Thanks very much for your essays. I really enjoy reading them.

-Benjamin

Category: Father's Journal

About Forrest Seymour: See my LinkedIn Profile Forrest Seymour is a social worker, psychotherapist and violence prevention consultant.  He has worked in community based programs, hospitals, schools and colleges supporting individual and institutional efforts to prevent sexual violence and promote emotional and community health since the mid-‘70s.  He has consulted with State Department International Visitor Groups and serves on the Cheshire County (NH) Domestic Violence Council, the New Hampshire Violence Against Women Campus Consortium and the steering committee of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach.  Since 2006, Forrest has been at the Keene State College Counseling Center where he is a Counselor and the Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention & Education.  He counts amongst his inspirations the many men he has collaborated with locally, nationally and internationally who seek in so many creative ways to end men’s violence, but most especially, the male and female students at Keene State College who step up as Mentors in Violence Prevention peer educators, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march organizers, Shout Out Against Sexual Assault speakers and witnesses, Take Back the Night marchers, “Vagina Monologues” and “No Zebras, No Excuses” performers,  and as violence prevention activists in countless large and small ways every year and every day.  These students are victims, survivors, allies and active-bystanders; they are leaders, role models and inspirations for their peers, for their faculty and staff, and for Forrest. View author profile.