One day, when my Son is an adult I will tell him how grateful I am that I could learn that through his eyes.
This past week I saw another child having a really rough time during one of my Son's practices. And I sat there wanting to cry, and wishing I could take that his pain away.
something you said here made me think.
i, most certainly, have lived three happy childhoods through my three children. they are all in their teens now, and if they all make it to 18 without sexual abuse of any kind, i will be the happiest pappy on the planet. my kids have been a triple blessing.
BUT... i found that when they were agonizing and traumatizing over every little thing like sharing toys and clothes, i had a hard time empathizing over such "trivial" issues.
in my mind i was thinking, "you call this a problem? what are you complaining about?"
i had this same problem with my wife. i was never any good at pretending, so i had to learn to actually care about other people's little boo-boos.
it takes a lot for me to understand and accept it when people (who have never been sexually abused) fall apart at the first sign of trouble, or let the smallest obstacle stop their progress. because i love these people, i do everything i can to connect.
when i try to coach or cheerlead them into action, it does not have the desired effect. in fact, it often turns ugly and confrontational. i am told that they perceive me as either pushy, or condescending. i am their father, after all.
i have to continually remind myself that i am not living my life through my children.
they are not mine.
and although i love them more than i love myself, and i have devoted my life to protect them, they do not belong to me.
one thing i have learned, for certain, from the 4 childhoods i have experienced (mine and my 3 kids combined).
children are not as innocent or fragile as they appear.
they are resourceful and resilient as well.
that, in itself, gives me hope.
anyway, thanks mattheal, for bringing all this up.