I struggle with Father’s Day. Today seems to be particularly tough. I look at friends Facebook pages that have wives and older kids who are doing awesome things for them. Here I am trying not to kill my son. I jokingly told a few friends that I’m trying not to kill Toby on Father’s Day because it may take me out of the running for #1 Dad.
I suppose it will be like this for quite sometime. Even when Toby gets older, he’ll only be capable of so much. He won’t be able to afford a gift on his own until he’s 16, even then there is no guarantee that he won’t mysteriously ask me for $20 around this time of year. So again I’ll essentially be buying my own Father’s Day gift. It’s crazy. I think about all of times that my mom gave money to get a gift, that chances are came from my dad’s account.
I think about my own life and the “Fathers” that I have had. Essentially I’ve been abandoned by two fathers. I’ve had a rocky relationship with the man I now call my father. About a year ago my STBX, asked me how being a father has changed my perspective of my own father. It has completely altered everything. I honestly believe until you are a parent you can’t really appreciate your own parents. The agony and frustration that you parents experienced raising you, you cannot get until you have faced those same feelings with your child(ren).
One of the lessons I’ve tried to teach my students at work is that their parents are human. It’s odd because I think we forget this sometimes. We forget that our parents have their own issues, their own lives, their own problems. Then we become parents and realize just how hard it is. How hard it is to raise someone on your own. Or teach someone right and wrong when you struggle with deciding that yourself.
One of the struggles of being a father that I don’t know, is the attempt to raise someone else’s child(ren). This is a struggle that I honestly cannot imagine. Finding that balance of being involved but knowing that you aren’t their father. Disciplining with the chance of it may blow up in your face. The struggle to build a relationship that isn’t naturally there.
Being a dad has helped me recognize just how hard it was for my dad. His struggle to find that balance, to forge that relationship. The challenges of being a step-father and eventually moving to being a father. Tonight we’re going to go see “Man of Steel”. I find it appropriate because to be a father, let alone a good one, let a alone a good father to kids that aren’t yours you have to be a man of steel.