Thursday, April 17, 2014

Please kids, don't grow up to be like Daddy.

I haven't been posting regularly because I’ve been stuck trying to come up with a way to post about how I hope my kids won't grow up to be like me - without it sounding like I hate myself or making people worry that I’m depressed.  Essentially, a way to say what I’m about to say without sounding like I’m fishing for a “its all going to be OK.”

I've written before about Live Like Daddy Syndrome, the idea some Dads have that their kid must grow up liking the same things they do/did.  But this was a little different.  

As if in answer to my conundrum, I poked myself in the eye while getting my daughter out of her car seat hard enough I worried I dislodged it.  As if that wasn’t enough, I then spilled a three-gallon can of paint all over the bedroom floor.  As my wife says, these things just seem to happen around me.  Like the time I spilled a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee in the exam room of the fertility clinic. 

So, yeah, I don’t want my kids to grow up having those things happen to them.

But I see it, and I worry.  I see my fear of heights – and moreso my fear that I’ll fall for some unforeseeable reason - each and every time my son shows fear of going down the steps.  I see my own social anxiety in them every time they freeze up in front of others.

So, no, I don’t want my kids to grow up like me.   Which one of us do the kids resemble?  Man in the sky I hope it is my wife.  Intellectually, she’s broad like me.  She can dress herself up in a way that will completely confound you, yet she is fully capable of applying joint compound on a Saturday.  She’s socially cool and nimble and makes it all look so easy.

Again, this isn’t meant as a pity party.  Despite the fact that I regularly knock over anything within arm’s reach, get weary in groups of 3 or more, and nearly take out my eye every 6 months or so, I have all my body parts, a good job and a very good support structure.  My life is pretty damn good.  I hope my kids all manage the life I’ve achieved and so much more.  So, so much more.

But do I want them to grow up like me?  No. 

Because I’m the type of person who, while taking my daughter’s car seat strap off, has their fingers slip and ram directly into their eye.

At least this time it was only my wife who knew. 



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