Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father's Day Gift

Whenever you find yourself frustrated with childrearing, there comes a moment when your child appreciates what you have done:
Dear Dad,

I was a terrible kid.  I cringe when I think of our fights when I was an awful teenager; one who was cruel and angry.  I resented the way you yelled and got so frustrated at us.  I struggled with your logical, detached way of looking at things when I was so emotional. 

I resented your quick temper and how simple discussions escalated into fights in our driveway (I shudder to think of what the neighbors thought).  I struggled with feeling frustrated as a young adult, how I both loved you and felt rejected at the same time.

Deep down, I wanted you to be proud of me and verbalize that.  A lot.  I wanted to feel like you were proud of me, even when I wasn’t living up to my potential.

I promised myself that when I was a parent, I would be different.  I wouldn’t be the “yeller.”  I would be calm all. the. time.  I would smother my children in kisses and tell them I was proud daily.  Or hourly.

Everything changed when I had my daughter.  I was blessed with a tiny version of myself.  A tiny, stubborn little girl, who was convinced she knew what was best for her at age two.  All of the facets that make me a good adult – tenacity, intelligence, no fear of standing up for myself – were incredibly frustrating packaged in a child with limited verbal skills and insight.  Suddenly, I realized how short my fuse really was.

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