That’s Him Trying

“Growing up happens in a heartbeat.

One day you’re in diapers; the next day you’re gone.

But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.”

[ The Wonder Years ]

 

My father is far from perfect: More an uncle than a father at best, more a stranger than a family member at worst.

I wanted to write so many posts about him (and maybe I still will), but I’ve come to realize something important lately:

All the harsh words and all the too tight teddy-bear-hugs;

all the missed P.T.A.-conferences, hockey meets, my 18th and my 19th birthday;

him still giving me € 50,- “travel expenses” every time I go to see him;

all the leaving me at home at nights when I was young and bringing back random women to “cuddle” (as he put it);

all the disappointment I’ve seen in his eyes when he talks about the potential I had;

all the letting me wait for hours in his office because he forgot;

all the excuses and all the times there should have been excuse but there weren’t;

all of his lack of interest in anything I did during my teenage years;

all the awkward moments when he tried so hard to fill a mothers shoes (bra shopping being one of them);

all the times he let me down and all the times he picked me up;

all the fights and all the laughter;

all the living and struggling that went on between us and will go on until the day we leave this earth;

all of that and so much more is him trying.

 

Thank you, Daddy: Happy Fathers Day.

 

[ “That’s Me Trying” – William Shatner ]

 

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14 thoughts on “That’s Him Trying

    • Thank you: I hope the generosity works both ways. What I mean is that I hope my father can say the same about me: “That’s her trying.” 🙂 Hugs, K.

    • I watched the movie “Happy feet” some time ago. Cute story and all, but what really stuck with me was the line about “tryumph” being lots of “trys” and even more “umph”. We won’t ever get it perfect anyway and why should we?! Nothing in this world is perfect even the sun has spots. 🙂

  1. Nice.
    I’m a father, and guilty of many of the things you write. It’s hard to slowly realise your children are not you. It’s lovely when (sometimes) they appreciate you anyway, DESPITE being their parent.

    • Awe, Q.E., we (the children) hope you appreciate us (sometimes) DESPITE being your kid as well 😉

      Just hang in there and let me have my own little mini-me’s – pretty sure I’ll sing a different song then 😉

      Hugs, K.

  2. Yesterday, I yelled to the back of the car at my complaining college-aged children (who trust me, have nothing to complain about), “I’m sorry I’m not fucking perfect.” None of us are – they won’t realize that until they have spent, say, 52 years of their life trying. My children’s attitudes reminded me of my own whining as a 20-something, and my outburst in the car reminded me of how adults in my life would sometimes react (less the f-word). Good for you for acknowledging your dad’s efforts, and being grateful for what he could do albeit far from perfect, before it’s too late (I wish I had done the same for my loved ones).

    • Yeah, now if I could actually tell him all of that without it all ending in a tears somehow, we’d actually be getting somewhere.

      I think the main problem (at least for me) is that I don’t think of my father as imperfect like myself, so obviously whenever something happens it feels like he is doing it on purpose (because it couldn’t be just a character flaw). That’s the thing with super-human parents, there’s no room for error. 😉

      I’m now slowly – very slowly – allowing him to be human (including all that entails). And as I’m only coming to my senses now at 30 I’d say there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to wait 52 years for your own offspring to come around 😉

  3. I think that when a parent is still in your life, that says they still want to be a part of your life… the hows, whens, whys, are the tricky part but your grace releases him from some of that; as it should also for you… It is easier said than done, especially considering how we source our happiness and life expectations from them while we are young.

    I’ve always thought that it’s daughters who save fathers from themselves. You’re proving my theory correct.

    • Ah sweet Erik, I highly doubt all fathers need saving by their daughters and I especially doubt I can (or will) be the one to save my father from himself, but it’s a very sweet thought and it made me smile. 🙂

      However, I do agree that releasing each other from bonds of mixed-up feelings collected and spun over so many years is liberating as much as it is the way back to one another: Not because we have to or are bound to one another, but because we chose to. – At least, that’s what I hope 🙂

      Hugs, K.

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