I have been at this Father’s Day thing for a long time, but I still get a kick out of my now grown children calling and visiting and even taking my wife and I out to dinner – when it fits into their schedule of course.
I wonder how happy they would have been if I paid attention to them and their needs and wants based on how it fitted into my schedule. I imagine they would not be too happy with me.
This is not about them of course. It is about me. I realize I have taken a long time to get around to asking myself this question, but how am I doing?
I wonder if I measure up as a father in my children’s eyes. The reason I ask this now that it is too late to do anything about it is not that I’m questioning my parenting skills, it is just that I would like to know that I did something right when it came to raising my children.
Funny, the older I get the more important my child raising days become. I don’t know how my wife feels about this since she did most of the child rearing. We don’t talk about anything except the weather any more. That conversation can be stormy enough without getting into personal events.
From prior conversations I’ve had with my kids they think a lot of the decisions my wife and I made about their future were really stupid, although now that they all have children we seem to suddenly have gotten smarter.
I tell them the reason I spoil my grandchildren by buying them too much candy is that I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I made with them. God forbid that my grandchildren grow up thinking that grandpa was a really stingy bastard.
Anyway I seem to have strayed from the subject. I do that more often now that I have gotten older. What was the subject again?
Oh yes, how am I doing? The best I can come up with because my kids won’t give me a straight answer – afraid of insulting the old man I guess – is that I must be doing all right.
I come to this conclusion because my children are all doing well and happily married and have their own children who one day they may have to answer the question to – how am I doing?