I was as stubborn as they came, dense as a coconut, and I learned the hard way. But, I did learn. With three children to practice on, and a good women to set me straight, I went though each year and learned life’s valuable lessons with each child, one by one. Unfortunately, the oldest gets the brunt of the situation… such is life. This stuff isn’t planned in advance. I didn’t have notes for when things happened that were out of my control. I dealt with them as they happened. Sure you try to anticipate things, but hey, who does that.
I really think the key for me being a not so bad dad at the start, was my own upbringing and experiences with my own family. Watching my dad react to each situation, or Mom handling a sensitive issue with my sister, you saw, heard and were there for each and every issue that life had to present. You would think after 18 or 19 years of watching this stuff, this stuff, would rub off on you and leave an impression. For me, those impressions and experiences did rub off and were stored in my mind becoming available at a later date.
Sadly to say, for some, such is not the case. For some, fatherhood never really kicks in. But in my case, I was born of goodly parents that had a solid foundation of what a family should be like. I can only assume that they had the same setup, parents who cared, parents who loved. It’s like I’m a snowball rolling along picking up more snow as I go, and this snowball is still rolling even today, still gathering stuff learned and stuff experienced. Even at the ripe age of 61 years, as I write this, I experience the joys of grandfatherhood (if that’s a word) and the cycle starts all over again. OMG! whoever thought of this stuff should be given an academy award for “Best Director” 🙂 I wonder who that would go to?