Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

It's Father's Day today.Everyone who writes a blog will be writing about fathers and I am no exception. It is a day that fills me with trepidation, wondering who will call, who will forget, who will decide not to call even though they remember. Having four children, I have seen almost every response possible to Father's Day, from childhood adoration to teen repudiation and beyond. I try to remind myself that I chose to be their father; they did not choose to be my children.

It is a sadness in my life that my role as Dad will end soon. I will not be there to help them understand why one of their children, their flesh and blood, would reject them so harshly. I will not be there to help them find a child a continent away who does not want to be found. I will not be there to help them understand the 3:00 AM drunken call for help, or the call that starts with "Dad, first of all I want you to know I'm not hurt".

I will miss seeing their children grow. I won't be there when my grandchildren go away to school or graduate a dozen years later. I won't be there to tell the stories of my childhood and of their parent's childhood. I am sure others will tell them stories, but who will tell them my stories? What stories will be told of me?

I know a few things about being a father. I know that no matter how you try, no matter how hard you work, no matter what you read or who you listen to, that your children will believe sincerely that you did it wrong. No father is perfect and your children will be the first to find and point out your imperfections. Your children will be the most capable at knowing your lapses of judgement, your emotional buttons, your soft spots. Your children will see you fail and gleefully point it out, time and again for years after. After all, they see you from the moment they are born; they know you best of all.

I know that there will come a day when they will open their mouth to speak and my words will come out. They will be shocked at what they say and yet they will say it. With horror they will realize that not only did they say it, they meant it! Suddenly it will dawn on them that their father said these things for the same reasons they say them. At that point they too will realize that they are flawed humans with all the issues and challenges that their father had.

I know that they will love their children as I love mine, that they will work and strive and give up life in order that their children may do more, have more, be more. I know that they will commit countless hours and untold energy, both physical and emotional, to ensure their child has opportunity and support. I know that they will bear all pains, endure all sorrows, suffer all indignities just to be a good parent, to be a loving parent, to be the Mom or Dad they wish they had. I know that they don't know yet that what they have, nor what they will miss.

I miss my Dad. He was an imperfect man, as am I. He worked hard and did his best. He tried and he failed yet through all of it he picked up and kept going. I would not make my Dad's decisions; some of them still darken in the light of day. I would not live his life; it was his to live and not mine to judge. But I honoured my Father, I respected my Father, I cared for my Father, I loved my Father. I miss my Dad.

1 comment:

  1. My dearest this blog is a moving exposition on fathers. You are a great father and you love your children un conditionally no matter what. I love that about you.
    My everlasting love