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.

7 thoughts on “Son the Father

  1. I think this is true with many mothers and daughters too. But fear is the first step to failing…especially when it comes to building/strengthening a relationship. Don’t climb it. You might lose your feet in the process…:(

  2. Just the fact that you realise all this shows you that this is your challenge and a great gift to yourself lies ahead if you just take the step, break the cycle and change everything! Do it for yourself and for your future relationship with your son. What do you have to lose right?

  3. Thought about this recently as well. I think in our fathers’ generation, most of the dads maintained this image that was not meant to show any of their preceived ‘imperfections’ or vulnerabilities.
    A sort of a perfection that we as kids were meant to strive for, and often fail to meet, in my opinion.
    I never really realized that until I became a father myself. My kid sees me in all my stumbling, clumsy glory. In my most humble opinion, that is a good thing.

  4. A rhythm of coming around and sitting doing something simple without trying to talk to the parent is also comforting if it s a consistent rhythm. We are living in the age of expression whereas they look at us and look away not entirely comfortable at trying to communicate. It s the way it is nevertheless the routine contact is very comforting for them and weightless. I have four brothers and my dad would turn to my mum and say when one or the other left ” what UTTER rubbish they talk … DID you understand a WORD he said? Aiyoo these fellows.. ” but he always closed his book in later years as soon as a son turned into the drive that led to the old home.

  5. I have a theory on why your dad doesn’t like to speak to you, and as you predict, your son won’t want to speak to you either…

    I believe it’s because a psychological defect with you, which makes you believe that you are superior to everyone around you, and makes you say stupid things that really piss the people around you off. For examples of this behavior, please re-read your blog, as well as your comments on other blogs or sites, from the perspective of a neutral observer. You might realize that you usually come off as a complete and utter cunt (technical term).

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