Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day, 2011 (Sure...I know it's 2012)

One year ago, I wrote Father's Day, Undeserved.  It was a very heartfelt post and I still agree with it completely.   I said, in the piece, that I was slowly learning how to love my children for the beautiful individuals they are - and that is still true.  By the time they move out at 35, I will have learned everything there is to learn about loving them (sarcasm intended).

I received many warm comments and emails from this post and it has proved to be one of the most popular on Incongruous Circumspection.  I also received enough hate mail to realize that there are those out there that expect a parent to be perfect from day one.

Frankly, if a parent realizes they have something to improve and set out to make damn sure they fix that issue, I would trust their parenting much more than the parent that thinks they have all the answers.  This doesn't, in any way, excuse me for being the horrible father that I have been and am currently improving upon.  Rather, it helps me understand that there are those that will be at the finish line, cheering me for what they see right in front of them, right along with those that will genuinely be praising me for fighting the long and good fight of life with children.  I will hug both.

Thank you and please re-read my Father's Day, Undeserved post from 2011.


I. C.


  1. I am not so perfect in the mothering department, I was way worse and I have never met a perfect parent and I have seen some cabably adults be raised by some pretty messed up people so don't let what other people say get you down, the worse thing is not realizing you need improvement.

  2. I didn't parent perfectly, even though that WAS my earnest desire. I wish my earnest desire had been to love thoroughly, encourage always, and commit to being the one person in the universe who would never crush my child's enthusiasm/emotions/ambitions.

    Then I wouldn't have been such easy prey for the religious parenting industry, at the very least. :p

    Still on the other side of parenting (my youngest will be 18 soon) I will say this: you know that old adage about paying for their therapy? It's a great plan! We are actually doing so, and willing to admit not only that we were wrong years ago, but when we muck it up still today (and I do! Rats! Again!).

    Love conquers all.

  3. I subscribed to your last year's post when I commented so I have been getting notifications all year when people continue to comment there. It has been a reminder to me to consider of how my dad and I relate, how my eldest daughter and I relate (she being the one most like me and my dad). And it has been an interesting year in that review. when I wrote last year, I said that my dad and I were each other's biggest fans. Last fall/winter, however, things really soured between us and this spring.... well, let's just say I remembered who he used to be in ways that I had repressed for thirty-five years. He is making overtures that he thinks will give us the happy-happy-joy-joy father/daughter relationship we never really had (what we had was more friendly professional as I was also his healer) but I am no longer able to repress nor to forgive what he was when he was my age. I am a mess now--torn between feeling pressured/obliged to forgive and needing to be hideously angry, guilty when I see myself react to my daughter with his selfishness and insensitivity (well, perhaps not his but enough to remind me of him, make me be afraid of being him, worry that my daughter will remember me the way I remember him).

    I am hoping that the extent of your sins as a father are lack of appreciation of your children as people and being a loud-mouthed grump about housekeeping (though that can be damaging enough) and that your children, especially your older daughters who will remember the most of your worst years, can follow your learning/growing progress and forgive you, and that you forgive yourself. For me, I don't know if I can forgive my father for the abuses I now remember, not least because he doesn't remember them as abuses, and I cannot forgive myself for what I see as perpetuating his sins into my next generation. Maybe I am not as bad as he was... but that was his excuse too, that he was not as bad as his father.

    I don't really know where this comment is going or what I'm trying to say with it. I am very conflicted about my parent and my parenting in a way that I wasn't at all when I commented a year ago. I guess I just wanted to acknowledge that conflict here where I had left such a hopeful piece on forgiveness and never-too-late last year.

  4. I am also still learning how to love my children. Thanks for your honesty.