This blog began 9 years ago as I was coming to terms with the breakup of my marriage and the loss of my family. From being orphaned and raised by a grandmother who in turn never knew her father, I inherited a mixed bag of parenting skills that was also a bit light. No wonder then that husbanding and parenting hasn’t been straightforward.
As a consequence I’ve tried to do better and be a really “good” dad. That’s probably led to a number of unfinished Airfix kits, and two of my kids being unhappy at school. It now seems obvious that I was trying to care for the bored little boy and curb the headstrong teenager, that both still line in my head. But being up so close, it’s easy to “miss the wood for the trees”.
In lieu of experience, I wouldn’t recommend fathering from phantasy and a handful of rose tinted memories. Yet we are where we are, and have to deal with what we’re given, whilst being mindful that:
“If you do as you’ve always done, don’t be surprised if you get what you’ve always got.”
Getting older involves trading many things, like working knees, for perspective and insight. Of course it’s natural to hope one’s children inherit just good things, avoid repeating mistakes and grow up to enjoy “better” lives, but getting there tests parental patience and empathy.
I’ve come to see good parenting as happening obliquely, by stealth, through deeds and example rather than explicit lecturing and boundary setting. Perhaps this should come as no surprise as we enter the aeon of Horus. And if that’s the case, one needn’t bother too much about putting kids straight.
Perhaps instead what’s called for is to be interesting and interested, aware, emotionally savvy and able to take some outrageous “slings and arrows”, to be independent whilst giving license and opportunity for them to dip in and out of your parenting and life. And though that’s not easy when one’s inner child is crying out or whispering in your ear, if you’re unable to make him mind, don’t be surprised if the same old patterns repeat themselves.
Namaste and on this day thanks to mothers too – without whom…