Castle, RM, CruxFidelis, Anthony39 I'm thinking of you guys and and any other young Dads here while I accept and deal with my shit.
I'm at the point I where I think I put the abuse in the right place, where I can really say I deal well with the obvious effect, and where I can say I have made promises and kept promises that were designed to help me heal. Some of what I try to do here was part of that promise.
What slams me down face first full speed to the floor is how it can and has effected my relationship with 3 awesome kids. In other words I really don't care anymore what happened to me at 10. I do really care what it took from my kids and what it takes from me as a father. How do they heal?
You guys have a few years to really nail this and get it better than me. By their age 12 (call it puberty) if you don't have your act down you will spend a whole lot of time looking back shaking your head and either feeling like a tool or realizing that you really are a tool.
The measure of our success as parents is not their grades, their varsity letters, leadership positions in school, SAT's etc. That's all their wins. If you like who they are it is still their choice to be the person you see. Good parents can raise bad kids, bad parents can raise good kids.
Besides their health and happiness I think the measure of our success as parents is the quality of our relationship with our kids. We are not their friends but we should have life-long bonds that are based on a lot more than blood alone.
I should not be able to build a long lists of all the stuff I wish I had done otherwise. I don't think I should be able to say that twice my son has broken bones, twice doctors asked me what I was missing in this picture (side note: the term "walk it off" was fine for a broken wrist, not as good advice for a broken leg). Man I can remember him giving me his F.U. Dad look when the doc said it was broken after all.
Bottom line is get it right now because I don't think this is one you can fix during your recovery once they are teens. I know how crazed it can be with lil guys in the house. Listen real good and learn from my mistakes. This is one you need to get right here and now....
Springtseen has a song about getting closure with his Dad. I played it real loud today in the car:
WALK LIKE A MAN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwNPvRvFhKg
I remember how rough your hand felt on mine on my wedding day
And the tears cried on my shoulder I couldn't turn away
Well so much has happened to me that I don't understand
All I can think of is being five years old following behind you at the beach tracing your footprints in the sand
Trying to walk like a man
By Our Lady Of The Roses we lived in the shadow of the elms
I remember ma draggin' me and my sister up the street to the church whenever she heard those wedding bells
Well would they ever look so happy again the handsome groom and his bride
As they stepped into that long black limousine for their mystery ride
Well tonight you step away from me and alone at the alter I stand
And as I watch my bride coming down the aisle I pray for the strength to walk like a man
Well now the years have gone and I've grown from that seed you've sown
But I didn't think there'd be so many steps I'd have to learn on my own
Well I was young and I didn't know what to do
When I saw your best steps stolen away from you
Now I'll do what I can
I'll walk like a man
And I'll keep on walkin'
No replies needed on this one guys. Just let it be......