Son the Father
I spent a considerable amount of time with my father recently. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but never really had. It wasn’t that he had no time for me. He did. But I didn’t. It wasn’t physical time that we lacked; it wasn’t even need. I think it was courage. We are both cowards; from a long line of cowards. Emotional cowards. He’s brave in many ways, in ways I cannot comprehend. He does things I could never do, I think. But he can’t talk to me. And I can’t talk to him. I’ve suspected this for a long time, and pretended it wasn’t true. But this time with him proved it. There was a time when I imagined what it would be like to talk to him, to really talk, man to man, as equals. But I think that time is past now. Equality is fleeting in relationships of time, and now that balance has swung right over.
I know he tries. He wants to pick that lock. But he doesn’t know how. And neither do I. And it’s frustrating and, ultimately, annoying. It makes me want to walk away as he did from his own father. I know I will regret it one day, as he himself regrets. I know I don’t have much time left. But still.
And I fear that history of cowardice; I fear that it will be the same with my own son. With the boy, there is so much time ahead, a lifetime. So much time, but so little will be spent together. And I know he is already comfortable with that.