I suppose there are things you never had the chance to say. Then again, I suppose there are things I never had the chance to tell you. I’m not sure why this happens. I’m not sure how. I only know that life goes this way sometimes. This is unfortunate but true. Not everyone gets along and not everyone likes each other, simply because they are supposed to. Not everyone fits into the typical family mold. And what I mean is regardless of our roles in one another’s life, not everyone gets along, even if we want to.
To be fair, I write this from both a personal perspective as well as an onlookers. I write this as someone who has seen this struggle from an outsider’s point of view and as someone that has lived through this with personal experience. I also write this without judgment or prejudice.
Either way, I am writing this because the truth is there’s another side to Father’s Day. There’s a different aspect, which has the right to be voiced because there are people out there that don’t relate well to days like this. There are those who’ve been snagged by their past or caught in old resentments, which they can’t seem to let go of — and therefore, days like today have a bitterness to them.
We don’t always say what we need to say. We get tied up somehow with life and life’s little claws that snag us and get in the way. We become preoccupied with details and instances that are far less crucial than we realize. We forget that time is very brief. We become so wrapped up in the trivial that we forget to have fun or enjoy a moment together. We often say things that we don’t mean. We mean things we don’t say and sometimes, we say what we mean but we only mean them for the moment.
Meanwhile, love is supposed to be love. People like us are supposed to be close because of the stations we hold in a thing called family. We’re supposed to get along. We’re supposed to love each other. We’re supposed to do a lot of things together, but yet, life and love and the parental agreements are not something that comes naturally for everyone.
Kids don’t understand adults and adults don’t understand kids. We don’t speak the same language. We don’t live the same culture and therefore, everything we think or feel is only a projection of us and our perception. And sometimes the twain will not meet. Sometimes, two people (whether it’s one or both) will not bend or give way or even step back and say, “Hey, you know what? I’m sorry.” There it is; a simple explanation. There’s more than one side to the story. There’s more to the heart than the surface of what we see. However, there is this application called family. These are the roles we are taught about so called parenthood.
There are different stations to each family member, each with their own title, their own role and their own position. There is a government in each family. There’s Mom and there’s Dad and then there is the child or children. This is true. These are labels that read in style alone but there is more to this. There is more to being a Dad and yet, there is more to being a child. There’s more to being a daughter. There’s more to being a son. There’s more to being a sister and there’s more to being a brother. There is more to it than being labeled this with the names alone. There is us and our culture and the influence of our surroundings. This is our way of seeing things. There’s our perception and our emotions and our assumptions and interpretations. These are all different across the board. Yet, these are the things that lead to our predictions.
Our predictions are what causes us to jump to conclusions, which inevitably, is what causes us to be preemptive or predisposed. This is what prepares us for a fight that never happened — or better yet, this is what causes us to have an argument that never needed to happen. This is where ego interrupts love and the roles we are supposed to play. This is where our emotional thinking interferes with our relationships. More importantly, this is what causes us to say things that we wished we didn’t say.
By the way, not everything we think is true. Not everything we feel is true either. This is where the deception of our perception sets in.
Nothing prepares us for life. No one knows what they will get or what happens next. I swear, it’s a crap shoot. No parent is really prepared for parenthood. No one talks about this either. Instead, we follow along. We act as if and we move with the roles we were taught about. We often create a future based on the past that we swore we’d never follow. I can tell you this is true. I can tell you there are things that I swore I would never do or say and yet, I said them. I did them. I look back and shake my head. I ask myself why? Then I realize the answer is simple. It’s because I was trained a certain way. That’s why.
Maybe we’ve put too much stock into the way things are supposed to be. Maybe the parent isn’t always right. Maybe the child isn’t always wrong. And this could go either way. Maybe neither of us were able to see clearly because we had so much fog between us. Maybe age means nothing and yet, for some reason, we assume age means everything.
Maybe all we are in this life is two people who are trying to figure things out. I mean, this does stand to reason if we think about it. We are always responding to thoughts or ideas. We give in to impulses. And sometimes, this gets out of control.
I had my own confusions and struggles. I admit this. I also admit that both of these things were contributing factors to the problems between us.
There has to come a time when we pardon ourselves. There has to come a time when we forgive our past mistakes and the things we’ve said. We let go. We let go of these roles we’ve been taught about. We let go of these ideas, which held us back or kept us apart. A time comes when we let go because the weight we carry makes it nearly impossible to move freely. Or maybe we let go, if for no other reason than to move forward on our own. We do this to rid any bitterness in our lives.
There has to come a time when we learn to live, to let go and to let bygones be bygones. We have to do this, even if the only reason is so that we can personally improve. There comes a time when we have to move forward. Otherwise, we can carry this around forever. We can go back and forth. We can find fault and place blame.
We can live in the past for as long as we want — or, we can come to an understanding. We can call this what it is. We are two people in this world. Both with our own ideas and both with our own hang-ups. Neither of us are perfect. We’re just human. Once we allow ourselves to be human, we can pardon our mistakes (and each other’s too) and maybe then, days like today will be easier to get through.
Maybe then we can let go of the pressures behind the roles we have; and whether our title is parent or child, either way, no one really knows what to do in this life. I was never a kid before. I was never a parent before either, which means I am bound to make a list of mistakes.
The truth of the matter is this: We’re all just winging it. Some wing it better than others, which needless to say; I’m not sure that I wing it better than others. But I am trying. . . I have to try. Otherwise, how else can we move forward? Even if we don’t move forward together, if we let go of the past, at least we can move forward on our own. I mean, how else can we create a better future?
Know what I mean?
Either way, for what it’s worth: Happy Father’s Day.
Beautiful and thoughtful post. 💕
An excellent treatment of the emotional nuances of this tricky day.