chapter  8
24 Pages

Migrant Moves

I ended the last chapter with a series of questions about the ways fathers return to reframe and rework the family. The story of Travis in Paris, Texas suggests a dance of fathering that flits between patriarchy and the place of mothers and fathers. His journey is one of self-discovery through which Travis realizes that he is afraid of what fathering entails and he is afraid of walking away, but he nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to reunite Hunter with his mother. As he sits in his fear, all Travis knows is that through his emotional connection with Hunter he is a father and that he cannot heal what happened. I want to move on now to a story that is not a fictional movie creation and which addresses some of the questions that are left unanswered at the end of the last chapter. These relate to how fathers reunite with the emotional work of fathering, what reparation may entail, and how they return to the space of the family from stories of disillusion. To do so, I follow the story of a Mexican-American father’s fall from grace with his first family, his numerous geographic relocations, his attempts at reworking family through a series of marriages, his fight with alcohol dependency and his re-creation of family as an emotional work.