The Tales of Badger and Spiff: The world of boyhood through the eyes of a fatherless father

A fatherless father.

As a boy, I became keenly aware early on that I was without a father figure in my life. A true dad. To be sure, there were plenty of male role models, some decent, some shady, some out for their own good, and at least two that truly wanted the best for me. Nonetheless, I did not have a father.

There wasn’t the bonding of playing catch with a baseball or football. No one to confide my struggles and inner battles or my first broken heart to who could say, “I know what you mean, son. Let’s talk about it and figure it out.” I’m not complaining. For me, it was my reality and, therefore, the only reality that I had true experience with.

I had plenty of friends who had a dad in the picture and truly a part of their lives and wanted to be. I also knew many others in the same shoes that I was—from broken homes, for one reason or another, and by choice or happenstance, their lives improved, or the path they had been shown was repeated for the next generation.

I knew and have always known I would be all right, and I knew very quickly how I did not want to live my life by the examples set down for me. I have always wanted to be a dad and to give to my sons the pieces of the puzzle that I was deprived of but knew existed.

I am not perfect by any means and will never claim to be. What I do claim to be is of Irish ancestry, with a poet’s heart and the want and will to be fully present in my sons’ lives. Through thick and thin, struggles, victories, broken hearts, discoveries, and life choices, good and bad.

This book is about my sons and life moments captured in images and verses from my heart and soul.

What a gift I was given as a child! I am a father now, and the chain has been broken.

--C. S. Burns



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