On Father's Day, June 25, 2003, my phone rang. It was my three children calling, from where they live with their Mother two miles away. She apparently was standing by listening.
I answered, "Hello, this is Peter."
"Hello Dad, this is Johnny."
"Hello Johnny, how are you?"
"Happy Father's Day."
[Oldest son comes onto the phone.] "Ditto."
[Youngest son comes onto the phone.] "Ditto."
Click. Danny hung up the phone in my ear. I sat there, mouth agape.
That phone call lasted about twenty seconds. Even so, it was twenty seconds longer than any communication I have received from any offspring of mine on any subsequent Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthday.
My three children were all minors then. They are all adults now.
There is a body of people, mostly male and substantially made up of a growing number of estranged fathers of minor children in divorce situations, who absolutely believe that Parental Alienation Syndrome ("PAS") is child abuse. I am sorry for these children.