So I had this thought on Fathers Day and I tried to talk about it at a meeting but I got too choked up. I hate doing that plus I’m not a “good crier” because when I get emotional my words are hard to understand, my eyes turn red and I might slobber a bit, so when I feel that lump in my throat coming on I usually abruptly end what I was trying to share to keep my dignity. Yes I know most people don’t care but I still do care. I may one day get over this but since I don’t have to worry about that on paper I would like to share it now with everyone over the World Wide Web.
When it comes to fatherhood and having children I still feel very much like a kid playing house. When I was younger I had an older cousin who would force my brothers and I to play “House“. We all acted like we didn’t like it and she would chase us around the house. It was all very fun and it really wasn’t a game of House as much as it was a game of Chase. I still feel that way from time to time. (yes my wife may read this and no she isn’t metaphorically my older cousin chasing me forcing me to be a father) Really the part where my cousin would tell me “OK you pretend to do this and I will pretend to do that“. I still feel like a kid who is trying all these different scenarios to make something out of it all. Fatherhood is still very hard. Most of the time I don’t know what one of my children need or what they are trying to convey to me. Not that I really know that about myself either.
My path to fatherhood came when I got married and my wife had some children from a previous marriage. Even with all my character defects she would choose to share her life with me is still a mystery, yes I know its crazy. She’s hot too and I‘m kind of average. I just assumed that if I wasn’t drinking that I would be a good father. I would know what to do in every situation like Ward Cleaver and the kids would come to me with an apology every time they did something bad. I would never loose my temper and I would always know exactly what to do and say.
Well being a father has turned out to be one of the most tricky and difficult things I have ever endeavored. With other soldiers I can scream and yell all I want but I have to use a whole other approach that does not come naturally. My kids don’t always come to me with an apology when they have done something wrong. I rarely know exactly what to do when it comes to discipline.
The good thing is though my wife tells me I’m doing good. The kids grandparents say the kids are adjusting well and seem to be happy. I really don’t think this is because I’m doing all the right things. What I do believe is that the majority of all ,what seems to be success, is just due to the fact that I haven’t been drinking because that is the only thing I know I have done right. I hear people say all the time that “drinking was only a small part of the problem.” I am undecided. Life has been so much easier since I stopped drinking. Life is still hard but I feel so much more free and complete and fulfilled. Not drinking has blessed every relationship in my life, even the relationships with my old drinking buddies. I have found a life I had only guessed at. I would like to share what my stepson wrote to me the other day.
Thank you for all the stuff you do for our family. Thank you for going on trips without complaining. And I’m not saying I’m glad your gone. Thank you for being a good dad. No son could have a better Papa.
Truly I’m not a good dad. I’m an OK dad. I try though. Being a father has been one of the things that has been very unexpected but a true blessing. I almost missed it. I was almost to drunk and stuck in my addiction to be blessed with a family. Had I been a parent and still been drinking that letter would have been very different or never even have been written. I would have missed it all and it would have been for a drink.