Some Random Thoughts on Fatherhood

Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t write an ode to my dad yesterday.  Or, you may not have given it a second thought. 

I realize that Father’s Day has passed, but I had a few thoughts that I wanted to write down while I had them in mind. 

I must admit that I sort of envied many of the posts I read over the past few days from members who have wonderful dads.  My parents divorced when I was still a toddler, and my mom later remarried, although my stepfather was pretty difficult to get along with (abusive), and they divorced when I was about 14. 

Essentially, I was raised by my mother and my grandfather.  I wrote about each of them during my time here on ActiveRain:

You are my hero – To my mom on Mother’s Day

What makes a man a real man? Lessons from my Grandpa

I also wrote a post many months ago about my father and stepfather:

Good Dad, Bad Dad – What I learned from my upbringing

After my father passed away in 2005, I mourned for him, and it was harder than I had expected.  I realized after he was gone that I had missed out on a lot of father-son time during my own childhood.  My dad and I got to know each other pretty well, but not until I was fully grown.  I mourned for something that I didn’t experience.  Thankfully, nothing was left unsaid between us.

With my own children, I sometimes lose my patience or my temper with them, but they know that they are unconditionally loved.  My wife’s parents also split up when she was very small, and one of her primary memories was of her father screaming in her face when she was 3 years old because she had some pennies in her mouth.  

Whenever I do get upset with my kids, I worry that they will remember the turbulent times more clearly.  Then, I tell myself that the reason that my wife has such a strong memory of that bad experience to this day is because her dad left their home shortly thereafter, so there were not any good memories to take the place of the traumatic one.  I hope to create a lot of solid good memories with my children. 

In my opinion, nothing is more important than my faith in God and my family.  Work is important, but I can always make more money.  Time with them is far more important, so I try to carve out as much as I can with them.  I work from home at least half of the week so that I am “around” (even more these days with gas prices being so high now).

I guess I just refuse to think of my difficult past as a crutch, although it would make a tidy excuse sometimes.  My kids deserve better from me.  I try to take the lessons from my mother and grandfather and be the best dad that I can be.  I am not by any means perfect, but I love them and they know it.  I am physically and verbally affectionate with each of them, which was something I got from my mom.

I hope this doesn’t come across as maudlin – that was not the intent.  I just had some stuff on my mind today.  Thanks for taking a minute to read this stuff.

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