Flying Dadless

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About Erik Proulx

Recovering ad man. Filmmaker behind "Lemonade" and "Lemonade: Detroit." PSFK called him "A creative catalyst who inspires peers about their future." Roger Ebert called his film "gob smacking." Not that he's into name dropping.


  1. john badalament says:

    erik – as a fellow flyer, I can very much relate to your post…especially when you talked about not being able to bear the image of your son looking out the window. anyway, much more I could say, but can’t find words…thank you

  2. That is unequivocally the one steadfast life-goal I have – to always be there for my children and to break a multi-generation father-less cycle. No matter what.

    Unfortunately, I still won’t be able to teach a son how to change the car’s oil, however. But that’s ok :)

  3. John and Joel,

    I’m not sure how someone who grew up with the pain of growing up fatherless could opt to repeat that cycle. Yet it’s more common than those of us who break it. It’s not not like we deserve a metal or anything, but it’s certainly something to take pride in. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Erik – I had a Dad growing up, he was just never there. Always working (or later I would learn, out screwing around.) Oddly enough, I married the same type of workaholic man!!! I commend you for breaking the cycle and relishing the joys of fatherhood. As I’ve often told my Dad…you can’t get those days back. Such a positive article. Well done.

  5. Great piece by a great guy (and obviously a great dad).

  6. I liked you before this post, Erik. Now I feel like we’re brothers from different mothers.

  7. What a wonderful man, father you must be! I mean that, very cool. Strong, sensitive men are sexy! Nuff said.

  8. My dad left my mom when I was three years old. Granted, the effects of not having a father are different from a feminine perspective, and so I don’t know what you path must have been like.

    However, that being said, not having template provides it’s own benefits. It takes longer, but seeking out and recognizing/patterning oneself after chosen positive male influences crafts a uniquely meaningful “Dad Composite.” Your life is truly your own. Your choices are even more resonant for you because you didn’t have the built in prototype from which to build.

    …and fwiw, I don’t think you are smothering. :) It’s never smothering our kids when they know that they are our first priority. Best to you, M.

  9. MetalRabbit13 says:


    Bravo! Great post. If your actions follow the insight of your words, I’d say that you’re well beyond the mid-point of having the other 10% of being a Dad — as you said, showing up and being present, and you are, is 90% — covered.


  10. Years ago, I realized that if a person said “I will not abuse a child,” it was a powerful thing; but if a person who had been abused themselves said “I will not abuse a child,” the cycle was broken – forever. A cycle can only be broken from the inside – and all generations to come are affected. Thank you, not only on behalf of your children, but on behalf of your great-great-grandchildren. You, and your fellow fliers, are courageous men.

  11. Well said, Eric! And I know plenty of big, burly guys who cry over TV shows and movies. Ain’t a bit of shame in it.

    Give your kids and extra hug from all of us? :)

  12. Erik,

    I lost my father (to a heart attack) when I was eight. Now my own son is that age. I have one life-goal which dwarfs all the others, which is to see him into adulthood. I can never listen to the Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle, without tearing up.

    Thanks for your honest words.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bob Collins, Erik Proulx. Erik Proulx said: Today, the Good Men Project Magazine launches. And with it, my regular "Dads Without Dads" column: [...]

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