what kind of son are you…dad?

“It’s not only children who grow.  Parents do too.  As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.  I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun.  All I can do is reach for it, myself.”                                                                                    ~Joyce Maynard
 

My son grows to be more and more like me every day. I can imagine my daughter will follow. I never really concerned myself with that much because, heck, I like myself! I mean, we all have our ups and downs, but for the most part, I’m OK. Now, of course I want my kids to be better than “OK”, but find great comfort in the fact that in the worst case scenario, at least they would be as insanely happy as I am.

I do understand that a big part of my happiness comes from seeing life through the eyes of my children and I want desperately to preserve that.

Lately, I have noticed some things about my son that has me thinking. He is growing up. He is starting to form his own opinions. He has his own ideas. He has his own hobbies. He figures things out on his own. He needs me less. Not a whole bunch less. But less….

So I ask: ‘What is that leading to? How far will that go? What will come of our relationship as he continues to grow?”

I remember being a kid. Waiting for my Dad to get home from work, wanting nothing more than to play catch, wrestle, watch T.V., anything, as long as we were together. Sometimes it was just that way i wanted it, and sometimes life just got in the way. (Don’t worry Dad, I get it now)! As I got older, I remember things changed. I did my own thing more and more. I learned to do my own stuff. I learned to count on people other than my parents for entertainment and companionship. Not because they were not there, just because there were other options.

It’s just like the choices my son has now.

Then comes girls, college, friends, jobs, etc. I pray he will meet the perfect woman, get married and start his own family. (and has children that argue just like him and his sister do in the back seat of the car) He will have so much time to practice being apart from me that he may actually become good at it.

But, then there will come a time when there is an opportunity to start a new kind of relationship with me. A relationship between a parent and his “adult son“. A time where you put some things aside and spend time refocusing, reminding, rekindling, and reminiscing about what life is really about. A time to laugh about the mistakes both of you made and share “high fives” about the times that you both were “right on the money“. Perhaps even spending time talking about the things you have become thanks to the other and the things you avoided thanks to them as well. To really love the time you spend with each other again.

I think more people do a worse job here than they think.

The relationship that I have with my parents is better than most of the people I know, but not as good as they deserve. They continue to be there for me and my family, but only as much as I allow them to be. Their intention was to allow me to become my own man and I know have become a man that they are proud of, but I still have an inner desire to be the child they love. I know that they love my family, but I also want them to be certain that we all love them back. I have been making a better effort on my part as of late.

I think we just owe them more as sons. I don’t mean payback for financial obligations. I don’t mean a roof over their head or a car to drive. I don’t mean food or clothing, or any other parent related obligation they poured out for us.

Just respect, love, admiration, thanks…

You see, what I fear most about my own sons choices (and daughter to follow) is that I won’t be a part of them as much as I want to be, and at this point I know it would be my fault. I’m not giving him a good enough example that shows him what I desire our relationship to be like in the future. I want him to know that I want to be intimately involved in his life for as long as I live.

To do so, I know I have to show him a better example what kind of Son I Am…

Please don’t start singing “Cat’s and the Cradle”. That song kills me.

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