Fathers’ Day’s approach led to me to hunt through my photo collection for pictures of dads (and granddads) and their kids (and grandkids). I was a bit surprised, at first, that I didn’t have as many as I thought I would. Lots of mums with kids, but much fewer with dads.
Maybe, I thought, way back in the earlies fathers weren’t necessarily that closely involved with their children when they were very small. I guess it was mostly the job of mothers – as indeed it usually still is today – to deal with the little ones and consequently the mums were the ones in most of the photos.
Then I thought, another big factor is probably that dads were often the ones taking the photos. So in a way, dads might well be there by inference in the photos of the kids on holiday, or doing silly things in the yard, since it was probably dads setting up the ridiculous poses. In the earlier photos of fathers with little kids the dads seem to be holding the children like trophies. Or maybe like some unaccustomed and possibly fragile artifact. Grandfathers seem more relaxed, perhaps they’ve already been through it, or maybe they are just less self-conscious.
Anyway, here’s a selection of fathers, grandfathers and presumed fathers and grandfathers (because when photos are disconnected from their stories, as many of these ones are, then who really knows what the relationships might be?).