What To Give…

The last 24 hours has been a bit emotionally rough in our household. There’s something going on with our teenager and she isn’t willing to share. She is creating a struggle in our home with no right way to resolve things. So I’m feeling pretty beat down- and so is my wife. I’m being left with a choice:

I can give up.

I can give in.

Or I can give it all I have.

I’m not sure where I am at currently. My mood is full of curse words and frustration. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude towards life. But at this moment, I feel like I can only think about myself and nobody else. I’m not playing “good cop bad cop” with my wife- that won’t work this time around. I’m also not wanting to say something to our daughter about how she is acting that I may end up regretting later.

So here is today’s Friday blog post- a crappy feeling shared on the World Wide Web. Parenting is tough. Not much more to say about it. I’ll just wait and see how things are tomorrow.

After all- tomorrow is another day.

Life is Too Short

Sometimes you just have to take what’s dealt to you in life. Some things are out of your control. So why worry about it? Why freak out cursing and swearing?  It doesn’t help. Unless you are like me and enjoy over exaggerating the situation and pretend to really lose your cool. 


But I am usually pretty calm in stressful situations.  I have this uncanny ability to figure out resolutions to the problem. I can walk away for a moment, then throw my hands in the air, and shout, “Fuck this shit! I’m out!” Only I don’t mean it.  


There is often more going on than what you first see. It’s how you react to problems that defines what kind of person you are.  I am calm, cool and collected.  I can have a person yelling at me over the phone and losing their shit, and I’ll wait until they pause just long enough…. then I’ll ask if they are done and want to talk like adults.  I understand that some people need to vent.  I also understand that some people need to lie or manipulate.  I’m good at reading people even with just a quick phone call or interaction.  I’m the “People Whisperer”- just kidding.  But I don’t let things bug me.  


Like the graffiti I once read: Life is too short for soft core porn. That may not be relevant to what I am talking about. In fact it really has nothing to do with tonight’s post.  But it sure is funny. Life is too short to stay angry.

When Did I Become My Father?

It’s 8pm on a Saturday night.  I’ve been awake a little over 8 hours.  A bit over half of my day has been awful.  I think it’s all my doing as well.  Actually I know it’s my fault.

I slept in past lunch.  I woke up with my lower back in agony.  I barely wanted to move.  Eventually I pushed myself out of bed.  Begrudgingly I made a late breakfast for my wife and I.  More like I made a breakfast sandwich for a late lunch.  While we ate, my wife reminded me that I wanted to take her to the VIP Cinema to watch “Logan” this afternoon.  So I checked the showtime and we decided to make the 2:30pm showing.  A matinee was a great idea.

I accomplished the 3 S’s and we were at the theater with twenty minutes to spare.  We sat down and chatted, joked- just enjoyed each other’s company.  My wife said, “I like this version of you.”  She had me thinking that I have been a poop lately.  I haven’t hung out with my kids in over a week.  Driving to and from school doesn’t really count.  There hasn’t been much in the way of quality time with the family this week.  Work has been heavy on my mind.

We enjoyed our film.  Then wandered some shops for a bit.  I was looking for a new jacket and she was looking at clothes for the kids.  No luck.  So we went home.  No plan for dinner.  As we drove, I quickly did a mental recall of food in our home and mentioned what we had in the freezer and what to have for a side dish.  We got home with dinner planned out.

Then I became grumpy.  No reason.  Just a big grump.  I served dinner and everything was making me edgy.  Just everything.  The way the kids answered questions, how they were serving their food, even the way they were eating.  Suddenly, my father came out.


The grumpy piece of shit.  The asshole who ruined nearly every meal in my childhood.  The man who made me feel less of a human being with every word he spoke.  That man showed up at my dinner table.  His voice coming through my mouth.  The more I tried to fight it, the more he came out.  My wife sat silently stunned.  My children were holding back tears.  

The one thing I never wanted.  The person have I tried so hard to not become.  Here he was in all of his Eastern European hatred.  Shining like a beacon.  A ray of destruction killing our family meal.  And I was lost.  Lost like the little boy that I could see across the table in my son’s eyes.  He and I shared a kinship of fear and sadness as I could feel my father pulsating through my veins.

Suddenly I hated myself.  I hated everything I said.  I hated who emerged at that moment.  I can’t take any of it back.  I can’t give an excuse for why I behaved that way.  Here I am now as I type this.  Crying at the way I acted.  The way I spoke.  No one needs to accept me for that.  I can’t ask for forgiveness.  I can’t reason away my rudeness.  

Sticks and stones can break your bones but words cause permanent damage.

Not my best performance to date with my family.  I have many years left to go raising them and loving them.  I don’t want a night like this to reflect in their memories of who I was.  I don’t want to become my father.  I want to be my children’s father.  A father who cares and shows he cares.  Not a belligerent jerk.  

When my father died, I had hoped that his hate had died also.  It seems there was a bit of it in me.  I hope it’s gone.
No one wants him around.  

Especially me.  Not ever again.  Not in this household.  Not towards my children.

A Bit of Anger

I don’t like getting angry.  It always makes me feel gross inside.  The aura surrounding me makes others cranky as well.  And that sucks.

Being grumpy reminds me of how my father was the majority of the time.  I don’t ever want that.  One or two days here and there are unavoidable.  Can’t always have perfect days.  I wish we could.


But then if every day was rosy there’d be nothing to compare them to I guess.  Anger just sucks.

Father knows best?

Last night I flipped out at two of my children right before bed.  It’s not a great feeling, and I went and talked to them a few minutes later and apologized.  I can usually control my frustration and pause for a moment before speaking to them about their actions.  It’s strange how it eats away at me if I yell at them.  I’m thankful, and I’m sure they are as well, that this isn’t how I interact with them regularly.

The 1950’s were a simpler time.

Being a father is freaking tough.  I’m not saying being a mother is easy either.  But I only know my role, sort of.  I’m doing the best I can as each day goes on.  The guidance I have to refer to is my father, tv sitcom fathers (I wish I was living in Silver Spoons when I was a kid), and all my friends who are fathers trying their best at this game as well.

  

  

Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this fatherhood thing:

  • Being a father is more than just donating sperm to fertilize an egg.
  • Being a father isn’t just about being a best friend to your children, but it can be part of it.
  • Being a father means having to be there, or listen to their problems, even when you really don’t want to.
  • Being a father isn’t an easy road to navigate, there are many hurdles.
  • Being a father is the greatest experience I have ever had.

Why you little…

Not only is being a father hard work, it isn’t for everyone.  I’ve caught myself going into full rage frustration with my face getting red, my teeth grinding, and the vein in the center of my forehead about to burst… All because one of my children didn’t turn off their iPad when I asked for the fifth time in two minutes.  With me waiting so they could come and dry some dishes, and they respond with attitude as if I’m ruining their life!  What about my life?  I didn’t dream that in my late 30’s I’d be doing dishes on a Saturday night hoping to be in bed by ten.  Just so that in the morning I can be on their cases again the next day, hunting them down to do homework.  I hate that when I raise my voice, I hear my father’s anger come through in me.  If he were alive today, he’d probably smile smuggly, knowing I did pretty much the same thing to him when I was a child.

I am doing my best to make a good life for my children.  I’d like to protect them from the mistakes I made growing up.  I want them to be fully functioning contributing members of society when they grow up.  Being a father is also fantastic.  I see my children accomplish more than I could have anticipated.  I love bragging about my children.  They sometimes bring me gifts and are always on the lookout for something dad would like.  

I often see a bit of myself come out in my son’s behavior.  I hope that through his eyes, he sees a man doing his best with what he has.  My daughters both test my patience and can pull on my heartstrings and manipulate me easily.  That being said, I do hope that my daughters see what a man should be by how I treat my wife and how I treat them.  

I hope one day they each of my kids have kids of their own, so that I can smile smuggly as the circle of life continues.