The Boy and the Pine Forest - One day, his parents drove him several hours outside of the city and the place that he knew as home. They passed by meadows, farms and forests on the way t...
Friday, October 23, 2009
I love my dad, I really do. When I was growing up, he was a workaholic. Hell...he’s STILL a workaholic and he’s in his early 60’s so I guess some things don’t change. He’s never been the most open with his feelings, which is probably why I’m a bit closer to my mom.
My dad enjoyed an emotional distance. I don’t blame him...I think that’s just how a lot of us were raised back in the 70’s (or maybe I’m just providing an excuse for him). My dad never really threw the ball around much with me. Hell...he doesn’t like sports so I didn’t grow up watching anything with him (unless I wanted to waste time watching curling). My dad can build pretty much anything he wants, yet he never taught me how to hammer a nail. My dad loves to go camping, yet other than my grandfather taking me as a young boy, I never learned how to put a worm on a hook or make s’mores by a campfire.
My son recently turned three. This boy is the light of my life. At this point, where I’ve been separated for 2 ½ years and my girlfriend lives 3 hours away, I’ve already made conscious efforts to not only spend time with him as he grows up but to spend quality time with him.
Now maybe my version of quality doesn’t necessarily jive with everybody else’s...but I don’t care. I want to spend Sundays with him watching football from 12pm to 12am (okay...maybe he’ll be in bed before that but I’ll totally let him stay up late as he gets older). I want to throw a baseball with him (or football) and help him learn how to catch. I want to do a “fist pump” with him so we have our own secret handshake.
Bottom line? I want to be the dad that my son WANTS to come and visit. I want him to grow up saying, “Man...I remember how much fun it was to watch football with pops; eating pizza and chicken wings and getting excited about every little play.” I want him to reminisce about spending a Saturday night with me watching Hockey Night in Canada (and I’m not even a big fan of hockey).
This isn’t about one-off’s, either. My dad took me to see the local hockey team maybe once or twice in my entire lifetime. He took me to see wrestling once when I turned 16. We did sporadic things together, and that’s fine (again...I love the guy and really don’t want to hold any resentment or sound like I do, either). But in my eyes, it’s extremely important to set-up trends and regular occurrences.
My boss at work has season tickets to the local hockey team. He’s got three kids. He can’t afford five season tickets (including his wife) so he rotates everybody on who gets to go, with the occasional family night with all five going together. His children know that no matter what else happens in their childhood, their father’s great joy was to watch hockey with them on a regular basis (or coach them in basketball, or watch them play soccer...).
It’s not even about sports, either. I can’t wait to help educate my son on music. ALL music. See, I’m a former DJ...both on college radio and in the clubs while in my 20’s. My parents raised me on country music before I gravitated to rock as a young child (thank goodness). I can still, to this day, fully appreciate all forms of music. A good song is a good song, whether it’s country or rock or dance or cheesy pop. I think too many kids close their ears to the world of music that’s out there around them. I’m really hoping that my son can at least appreciate other forms of music, regardless of what his favourite may or may not be.
This is my plan, anyway. It’s not perfect...it’s not really specific. It could totally backfire if my son would rather watch Broadway musicals than Monday Night Football. That’s alright, though...I’ll love him completely anyway and have to start seeing if Wal-Mart has a “Broadway musical dvd” section. As long as I make it a regular event that he’ll always remember, that’s all that really matters to me.
I think my dad might have taken our relationship for granted. I have no plans on doing the same thing with my son. I’ve got a plan.
Canadian Bald Guy is just a thirty-something single dad who is trying to find his place in the world…no more, no less. You can check out his regular ramblings at I Used To Have Hair.