I’m not sure when I fell through the looking glass but I just keep getting closer to everything I set out to run from. ...
J. McKay / Parents, if you feel like your children don’t understand you, reinvest your mental energy and concern elsewhere because they don’t and they won’t---for as long as they are children; however, don’t worry; as you should well remember, that doesn’t last forever. At some point their adult eyes will open.
As children it’s impossible to separate what the adults around you do from who they are. If seven to seventeen year-old me called it as I saw it
, my father fathered because he was a father, he taught because he was a teacher, he coached because he was a coach. That is the astounding circular logic that teenagers are plagued with and their parents are tormented by.
This morning I woke up and I mentally mapped out my day: planned the workout for my cross-country runners, reviewed what I would fix the kids for breakfast and what they would wear to the babysitters and evaluated how close I was to finishing my preparation for the coming semester’s instruction….then I called my dad and asked him if he thought it was funny that he had taken over my body and if I could have it back now.
Don’t get me wrong; my admiration for my father is longstanding. I love him and respect him for all that he is (I mean does…see I told you), and while I’d consider myself fortunate to be like him, I never wanted to be him. And now I am, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t baffle me.
I’m not sure when I fell through the looking glass but I just keep getting closer to everything I set out to run from. Not that there was anything that he modeled that was undesirable. I just didn’t see myself fitting into his life. I guess kind of like child me couldn’t imagine that my feet would ever fit his shoes, which seemed until just the other day positively huge.
I think one of the paradigm shifts that has enriched my appreciation of this new awareness of myself via my father is that where before I just saw conditions or circumstances that I used to construct my view of his identity, I am starting to see that his life is made up of the same medium of my own: choices.
We are whom we chose to be; not that we bought the lot but life gradually just kind of amounts to what it is: moments of decision at divergent paths. Because I now do so much of what my father does, albeit not nearly so well, I have begun to see his backstory through the lens of my own life and this understanding makes me appreciate him all the more.