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.
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: