I Thought I Was a Good Father
Each of my children attracted or repelled the energy necessary to grow into themselves. Forever children. The mother is the first nurturer. The labor of a father begins and continues for life after their delivery. Teachers are forever.
“You weren't there emotionally,” she saidOur experiences and lessons are woven into our lives, often the thread from the legacy we inherited. As the sum of our experiences, we develop and make conscious decisions to will our lives into the direction that suits our soul.
My mini professor made me introspective. So, that day, I took a deep breath and braced my mind for the next myriad of questions. Strength is a commitment.
As I reflect on Father's Day, I think of all of the challenges of raising my sons and daughters. The support I offered to each of them; the lessons they taught me.
I love being a father. Before the birth of my eldest daughter brought me into fatherhood, I wasted my time and resources. After becoming a “baba,” my focus shifted toward the spiritual and I discovered unconditional love and commitment. Friends would sometimes look over my babies from the outside and say. “You are great father man!”
“We don't know that yet,” I respond. “I gotta see what they do after they grow up.” My ego checked, My thought fell way short of my parent's expectations. I'm good now, though.
My own childhood was complicated by a tough father who made major mistakes. For myself, I decided that my higher standard would be providing for my kids. I survived physical abuse and determined not to continue that legacy. He was a sound provider so that is the goodness that I knew. We all are the sum of our experiences. The legacy of abuse carried over as emotional neglect, that I didn't realize until my kids got old enough to make me face it. A conversation along the journey to drop one of my daughters off at college exposed it. “You weren't there emotionally,” she said. “But I got all the bills paid,” I responded. The truth is most bills. Then, I went on to explain that my ambition was to provide. I left the sensitive nurturing to their mother while I concentrated on the weight of shielding them from the ugliness of poverty. It either wasn't that important, or I thought one day they will see what it takes, I feel good about it. Standards. My daughter went on to describe an instance when I lost patience and said some callous words to her because I was too tired after work and I just needed to be alone.
I sent her away unsatisfied. I didn't think it was a big deal. It was. She only wanted my attention. Time. My 22-year-old son once told me I shouldn't have told them how much things cost when he was a boy. My response “How else would you know not to take things for granted; that we are subject to cause and effect?” I wonder how this will affect his raising his own kids. He is a generous man. Providing the resources for education, fashion and bills just weren't sufficient I have realized.
My children want time and a gentle ear. I deserve no awards for being the father I am, but this is the father they got. With every failure, I get closer to becoming a better man, a better father. A wise father evolves as his children evolve. Doing your best isn't enough. Do more. Centuries from now, all the pearls are connected. I hope to polish mine. Time.