DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Faults of our fathers

I realized today that someday I’m going to ruin someone’s life. At some point in my life when I have children I’m going to emotionally scar and permanently debilitate them for the rest of their lives in some capacity.

All parents screw up their kids. Auster talks about the man his father was and the way he secluded himself from the world. So many of our fathers aren’t the loving, emotionally reassuring and giving people we sometimes wish they were. So many of our fathers give us too much attention, adoration and love, to the point that we take it for granted. No fathers are perfect and the fathers we have are what make us who we are.

Someday I’m going to be someone’s father. And when that day comes, the man I am – the man I’ve spent so many years becoming – will do unspeakable damage to the life of the person(s) that I love the most. Everybody, regardless of sex, age or any other variable, has issues that stem from the way their father raised them. Even if their father never knew them, that absence will weigh upon their lives and forever shape how they interact with the world around them.

There are so many things that a father does that will wholly alter what a child believes about the world and its inhabitants. There are so few tangible things that as children of our fathers we can see as a direct result of who they were, but it’s there in everything we do. Our fathers are there in everything we don’t do.
I’m so scared about having children because I know that no matter what I do, whether it’s the right thing or the wrong thing, whether it’s minute or absolute, every single thing I do will forge their identity. Of course, as human beings we have the free will to do what we wish and be who we want, but the ideas of what we want and what is right and right for us are the direct result of what our fathers taught us. Someday I’ll have to teach my kids right from wrong and it won’t be what I say, but what I do that will forever shape who they become.

I don’t know that I’m ready for that kind of responsibility. Although, really it doesn’t matter what I do because I’m guaranteed to ruin any potential offspring; all parents do. The ones that don’t give enough are just as bad as the ones who give too much. The parents who don’t spend enough time with their children do just as much damage as the ones who spend too much. The worst part of it is, there’s never a perfect amount of time. Everyone in the world has conflicting perceptions of the world because of what they learned from their parents. Because our parents ruin our lives so completely, we’ll never be able to relate on a consistently parallel level to anyone else, not even our siblings.

I think every person that sets out to be a parent does so with the intention of being absolutely perfect for their children. What a prodigious shame it is that each and every one of them has failed.

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