Dads, my acronym for Dad's Are Dicks Sometimes, rings true more times than not, when close-knit family relationships go through the storm's of life that will, sadly enough, befall us all.
Where once, we as dad's were idolized and could do no wrong, we inherently become pond scum when our children realize we are profoundly human and subject on occasion to fail without notice. The aha moment when Superman is not so super after all.
The stressors, be it emotional, physiological, financial and or a combination of the above, trigger behavior unbecoming what a father in their eyes should be. The calm seas of what was, suddenly become an unspeakable tempest, laying in it's wake a vast sea of broken dreams and more importantly, broken promises. Children, I've got news for you, dads of all walks of life and faiths are human, too.
To the dads out there who fit this acronym to a T, me included, my heart aches for you this Father's Day. Many children, whom we've loved since birth, are now swaddled in utter disappointment. Because of our shortcomings, they cannot see beyond contempt, "look what you've done to my mother, look what you've done to me!"
Which brings forth the question, at what age do you share with them the honest to goodness whys? And even then, should we? These questions, along with a litany of others wreck havoc in our struggle to restore some sense of relationship, at a time when the silence is both humbling and deafening.
The realization that my best was not good enough is evident with each breath I take. I own it, dads and you should too. It's only then, that we can move forward, hoping and praying the foundation we initially laid when the family seas were calm, will be enough to launch our children successfully into adulthood.
Sadly, there will be those who struggle in transition, blaming us every step of the way. I feel for them, I feel for you. All I can offer is the hope that we'll be there when the time comes, to show unconditional love, ask genuine heartfelt forgiveness and pick up enough pieces to heal. Healing is tough, no matter which side of the equation you're on.
Speaking personally, many of us remember the "aha" moment when we knew our relationship was irrevocably broken. The moment where our mere survival supplanted Dad in every sense of the word. In my case, the words you're old enough where your wants and needs don't matter anymore sparked the blazing inferno that eventually consumed us all.
Once again, I own it. I was a dick, sometimes. But, not always. More times than not, I was a good dad, a great cook and mentor. I led from the front. I encouraged, nurtured and fed the dreams and desires of our children with gusto. Still, my personal shortcomings overshadow it all.
Fortunately, because of tomorrow, there will always be a sliver of hope that we can somehow manage to get it right in the end. Second chances, though few and far between are possible if change is evident. A famous speaker once said, "Every storm is a school, every trial is a teacher, every experience, an educational opportunity." As dads, if we take these words to heart, and live them circumspectly, we'll be the better for it. Life lessons that are sharable moments for those coming behind us.
Over the last few years, I've been fortunate to spend many a moment with someone that realizes my wants and needs do matter. Someone who sees me, in spite of my many faults, as a person of worth and value. Someone so special that she's inspired me to write novels based loosely on our adventures, as a way to express my innermost feelings and more importantly, heal.
Yes, Dad's Are Dicks Sometimes, but not always. Some dads like mine, for the most part, hung the moon. He instilled in me values that I tried to share with my kids. It's unfortunate, I couldn't always live the life he led. Still, I'm a better man because of him. I hope my kids will be, too.