Well yesterday is one of my toughest days of the year. You see, if you read any of these musings, you know I struggle desperately with my role as a father. I truly think I have failed my son as a Father.
My Father, we have talked about him for ages here. A great man, a provider, caregiver, lover of my Mother, and stable home we always had. But let’s talk father. We didn’t do much together as he was always working so my Mother could stay at home with us. Most of my memories of my Father are him sitting at the kitchen table feet on the washing machine smoking and talking to my mother. His other favorite place, sitting in his chair in his underwear watching T.V., always tired, always planning his next trip to work. I can remember he took me to play golf a couple of times, fishing a few others. When I turned 18 he took me with him to watch him play in his band that was probably my coolest memory of him. Were we close, I have always thought we were. What did he teach me about being a Father? You take care of your kids and try to make them into adults. You try to make sure when you are gone they can make it without you around. I can remember him telling me it was his job to make sure he left the world with a man not a burden. I think he did his job. What about other father’s I know?
What about my friend’s fathers? Well they are all gone now but my memory is that they were just like my dad. Always working and always trying to make us into adults. My two closest friends and I were really raised by three sets of parents. The funny thing was the rules were basically the same at all three houses. I think we have all turned out to be good adults. We all have kids and they are all completely different from each other. I have seen and known several men I thought were good Fathers. My adopted sister’s husband comes to mind as well. Four children each what many call “perfect kids”. I am blessed to be very close to the family so I know they are not all perfect. Now they are as close as any I have every encountered but perfect, now well behaved and adjusted? Amen, an in spades.
So where did I take a wrong turn at the Cirlce K? Where did I lose the ability to parent or make a difference, or influence my son’s life? I have a young man who absolutely refuses to listen to one piece of advice I offer. Who looks for my core values and then mocks them as if they were the stupidest things a human being could believe. Not only is that, but then tries to ague that they are not believeable and that anyone who believes like I do is a moron. His words!! We never talk. We only scream at each other. He walks into a room and my blood pressure rises at least 20 points. The last time we were together I had to call a doctor afterwards because I thought I was having a heart attack. This cannot be normal. I know it’s not because I see other families who love each other and can’t wait to get together and share family time. The only time I hear from my son is when he is in need. He has never called me once time to say hey dad what’s up. Now all of the conversations start out that way but then there is the, hey I need a favor or I got to have this or that. When I tell him all he wants is money or work done on his car or anything else then he hits me with its all about the money or all about the material things to me. Well I guess so because from my view that’s all our relationship is him needing, me providing. I guess my father providing I got but he would have never provided for me if all I ever did was piss him off I can promise.
I can’t blame my inability to be a Dad on my son. He tells me all the time I don’t know him. How can you get to know someone who assaults you at every turn? Who takes everything you believe in and makes fun of it. A young man who anytime you open your month to try to get to know him turns the conversation into some kind of twisted psycho analysis of your thoughts and how you are simple minded and need help. Is this a person anyone wants to know? I think not.
So we have another Father Day behind us. I missed my Dad yesterday. I was trying to remember did I honor him enough when he was here? Did I always thank him for his sacrifices during my formative years, the years he worked all of those jobs so we could be home with my Mom. All of those late night and sleepless days he kept up the pace so we could have what we needed. As I sit here now I know I didn’t do enough. I surely hope that he knows I meant too. I should have hugged him more; I should have told him I loved him more. Even if he didn’t tell me back. I should have taken him to lunch more when I had the chance. Man I miss him.
Maybe my son is my Karma, for not doing all of those things for a man who sacrificed so much for me? If so, then as they say Karma is a bitch!! My son and I will never be close because neither of us is willing to take the others point of view. I simply can’t compromise my values and give into his unrealistic ramblings as the way it is. He can’t never see himself as a member of society working and being a part of the solution and not the problem. My words there, not his.
So I guess Fathers Day will always be a test for me. I will never be Ward Clever for sure. And my son will NEVER be the Beav. Eddie Haskell maybe!! There will never be the closing scene of the Walton’s at my house either with all of the Goodnight Grandpa’s, Goodnight John Boy. I will have to simply accept that fatherhood is not that for me. I will continue my efforts to leave the world a man and not a burden. Hope all of your Fathers days are happy and loved filled.
Happy Fathers Dad, I miss and Love you very much.
The Blessed Man