Despite all effort to stray, I found myself naturally mirroring my dad’s reactions, words and wrestling moves once I became a dad. This isn’t a bad thing. My dad was a good father, a provider who worked hard to give his family with three kids a good life. And for that I’m thankful.
But there are always things that I said I wouldn’t mirror. Like kicking a shoe or hollering when frustrated. Like focusing on what wasn’t being done–picking up the jacket, putting away toys or behaving at the dining room table–rather than what was being done.
There is something that each generation teaches to the next, whether the display is positive or negative.
I have flaws. And I don’t want to bare them to my son. I remember looking up to my dad as if he held the keys to the world and could get in the driver seat, floor it or turn the action around any time he wished. Why would I want to take that from my son, or better yet, why would I want to take that from my ego so soon?
Is there a benefit to showing my son that I’m not perfect at a young age? How would he see himself if he sees me admitting that I am a broken human being, but I am okay with who I am? Would he get to a stage of comfort sooner than the age of 34, like his father?
This anonymous poem cross-stitched by my mom wraps it up for me:
As long as I model this poem over half of my time as a father while continuing to strive for better, I’ll consider myself a success.