I read a great blog post a few weeks ago by Adam C. Dolgin (Fodder 4 Fathers) entitled, DADDY DON’T – 10 THINGS ADULT CHILDREN WISH THEY COULD GO BACK IN TIME TO TELL THEIR FATHERS.
It was a great read, and I highly recommend you give that blog post and his site a look–he writes some well-written, thought-out and funny stuff.
Ok, now that I am done waxing poetically with well-deserved credit, I will crack on with this post.. After reading that post, I started asking myself what would my son be asking me to change–or do over–when he’s an adult, looking back.
In his short 2.5 years, what have I messed up? What could I have done better? What should I be doing less/more?
If my dad was still alive today, what would I ask him to change?
I am not sure–to be honest.
Was he perfect? No.
Was he tough? Yes at times.
Would it have been nice to spend all four years of my high school years at the same school (instead of four different high schools in 4 years)? Yes.
I wish I could say I would ask him to change those things–or anything–but I can’t.
I don’t believe in Monday-morning quarterbacking. I have not been one to say, “I should have gone right instead of left.” I believe that all these roads–with every little twist-and-turn and all the bumps and pot-holes–have lead me to where and who I am right now.
For good-or-bad and for right-or-wrong, all that my dad was or wasn’t has lead me to become the man and dad I am today.
What does that say for my son? I’m honestly not sure that the story is still being written.
I can only say: I take each day and try and do better by him than the day before.
I am human. I will stumble, and I will fall. I will have good days and bad days (great-and-epic parenting trumps and epic failures). All I can do is continue to build on that.
I do wish that my dad was still with us–as I have questions. More then that, I wish he could see his grandson, to share in our new adventure. But, I also wish he could see how–like him–I have days where the water is over my head…
I think the do’s and do-over’s of fatherhood (heck of parenting, in general) is something we build on. It’s the stuff we leave behind, for the next generation. They either make-right or build upon it all.
So if you are able to talk with your dad, thank him for allowing you to see–and even to build upon–those areas where he fell short, to remind you… not so much of what you didn’t have, but what you will not see yourself lacking for your child.
I’ve said it before: I am not sure how the story of my son and my shortcomings as a father will evolve. We are still writing it. Tomorrow is a new day. So, we must turn the page and see what’s in store for us… It’s all a part of fatherhood.
“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” ~ Jane D. Hull