The Sins of the Father Are Visited Upon the Son

To be honest I never paid any attention to that phrase. For that matter “to be honest’ is kind of a funny one because it suggests that I might not be honest all of the time. And if you begin to question my honesty our relationship is doomed because we can’t keep going on with suspicious minds.

As a parent you understand that everything you do will impact your child in some way or another. Especially when they are very young and in formative years, they watch and learn from everything you do. I am pretty conscious of this because it is very important to me to give something to my children, to help them be better in every way than I am.

But along with the good there is the bad, or less desirable traits that can be passed along. And now I see that my son appears to have a few. He has my temper, but it doesn’t come out very often. He is such a sweet little boy, that it is somewhat shocking to see his anger. It is not unusual, he acts in an age appropriate fashion. Most of the time it appears when he is overtired, but I recognize the fire in his eyes. It is an old friend that I hope he does not become well acquainted with.

I also see that like me he doesn’t let go of things very easily and I cannot help but wonder if this is genetic or if somehow I passed this along. If you hurt me, I remember. If you make me angry, I remember. If I embarrass myself, I remember. The shame, the pain and the anger are things that stick with me. I work all the time at letting the baggage go, there is no need for me to serve as their beast of burden. I am not always successful at letting go, but I am good at hiding the feelings from you and those who know me.

And now I see that my son is learning how to hold on to things and it hurts me. I know the ache and the pain that this can cause and I would spare him that. I am 35 and I know how to deal with it, he is four. He has a look in his eyes that breaks my heart like nothing else has.

So we are going to work on this. I am going to try and help him learn how to push away the nonsense so that he lives life unencumbered by the small things that prick us. I don’t want to see that sadness in his eyes.

Don’t get me wrong, he is a very happy little boy. His school is across the street from my office, so I see him during the day. Sometimes I watch him when his class is on the yard. He is a ball of motion running around, riding bikes, going down the slide and just one of the children. I pick him up and I see him playing with other children, so I feel very comfortable that he is a well adjusted child. I just can’t help but try to help him.

The love for a child is limitless.

I wrote the words above on December 13, 2004. It had been a crazy year in which my father almost died. My daughter was born two days after dad’s triple bypass. By the time December rolled around I felt like I had done two tours of duty in Afghanistan, which I should add I am glad that I have never done. I have great respect for our servicemen and used the description for the purpose of the post. Anyway, this post is significant to me for several reasons. The most important one is that it discusses my son and provides an opportunity to look back and see what sort of progress has been made.

It also marks the beginning of when I first began to see and understand the power of blogging. The Star Wars reference in the clip just before this is intentional, not just because my son and I love the movies but because I have to ask myself what boundaries should I draw with this post. When he was four the stories were cute and funny and all fair game. He didn’t care what I wrote about him or anything else back then. In those days I was superman and given license to do whatever I wanted.

But now he reads and thinks. He wonders about life and is very aware of what happens around him so I choose to be more circumspect in what I share. Suffice it to say that some of the traits mentioned above still exist. He still carries the same fire in his belly that I do and he remembers those who have wronged him. But he is learning what is worth remembering and what isn’t. He is learning so very much that I wonder sometimes how he absorbs it all. There have been some very hard lessons that are similar to those other parents have written about.

He is at times a little bit cynical and frankly I am a bit surprised by it. I sometimes wonder what the influence of the net is upon him and his generation. We have worked hard to let him remain a child for as long as we can, but I think that in some areas he is exposed to things that we weren’t, or maybe not. It is sometimes hard to say. What I know is that I want the best for him and that I am doing the best that I can to teach him, but as my grandpa used to say, “you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.”

Some lessons have to be learned, they can’t be taught.  Overall I am very pleased. He is a very sweet and loving boy.

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  1. Cathy March 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Very nice post. I notice things about my kids that I am not happy they’ve picked up – like my son’s incessant need to get the last word in, or argue a point til he’s blue in the face. Oh that is so me. Poor kid. Not a good thing unless he turns out o be a lawyer.

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