With Father’s Day coming up, I decided to write about my dad.
My dad is someone I’m just starting to get to know. Throughout my life, he was on the periphery, while my mom took center stage.
While I was growing up, my dad worked tirelessly. He wasn’t home much, spending most of his time at his store. He also volunteered with various service organizations in our town, leaving little time at home. He seemed impatient and agitated much of the time, and I remember wondering if he was mad at me. I was a good kid with excellent grades, a polite demeanor, and precise manners. His temper flared quickly when he and my mom argued. They communicated loudly when discussing household chores or business issues. I still don’t know if he was angry because he had so many responsibilities or if something else was going on to which we weren’t privy.
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In the last six months, my dad has decided to work on himself. He began opening himself up and I’ve felt our relationship change.
I’ve noticed someone who is sensitive and thoughtful. I’ve experienced my dad speaking from his heart and feeling things immensely.
Getting to know him means to remember his intelligent sense of humor, learn how he critically thinks about politics and current events, discuss film and television, and I get to see the world through his sharp eyes.
He’s finally letting my brother and me in to learn some of his regret and pain, but also joy, contentment and happiness. His journey has made him more emotionally available and expressive of his love for us. This didn’t come easily for him in our childhood and adolescence.
Until recently, my brother and I always confided in our mom, which also may have made my dad feel left out of our iron-clad triangle. Mom was there to listen and solve problems and Dad asked us about practical matters.
My dad was resistant to learning technology for years, asking my mom, brother, or me for help with simple tasks like how to forward an email or open an attachment. It used to drive me nuts, but now just makes me laugh. He’s been practicing on the computer lately and has even graduated to an iPhone.
With his newfound involvement in modern technology, we’ve communicated more frequently. I’m incredulous when receiving simple, kind messages of support or love from him. I’m starting to actually like it.
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In the last few years, I’ve thought my dad might be down. He seemed detached from the things he commonly liked and rarely participated in emotional conversations. At home, he occasionally was irritable and negative and that made him tough to connect with. In the past few months, I’ve learned more about him through his own sharing. I feel like I have a whole new father.
I like this new Dad. I feel cared for by him. I also want him to know me better and it seems like we are on that path. Dad, I Love You.
I’m a Life Coach and work with clients of all ages. Please visit my website at http://www.coachingbyninarubin.com.