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Being a Father by Brett Keane

Being a Father by Brett Keane
Growing up for me without a father was absolute shit. When I was a kid and on those rare moments I saw him I assumed I had failed him in some way. Why else would a father not want to be in your life? I knew he enjoyed the company of his friends and did everything possible to make himself to a stranger and my mother.

So when I finally became a father I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I figured no one deserved to be treated like me so I swore I'd somehow do better. Be there and love my kids. I remember all the stories other parents told me. Being a parent is tough. Kids never listen. Work all day and then come home to bullshit. Kind of made me have concerns until my children showed me they were awesome. My children made it easy for me to be there and love them. Thank God for that.

However, when my son became a man and daughter turned into a teenager I found myself in trouble. It took me a few years to figure out children and how they tick. It seemed like all of a sudden they became independent and combative. They did not seem to appreciate the fact I enjoyed their company so much. For them, it was time to spread their wings and fly. Wait...I was just getting used to them as little people. How time fly's when you're having fun.

It was clear to me after awhile they had studied their mother and myself and knew how to pull shit on us. I held the role of the loving father who was firm and strong. My wife, however, played the sweetheart who would let them do damn near anything they wanted. If I put my foot down on anything guess who became asshole of the week. Sure would be nice if children were born with manuals.

I remember days where the kids used to run into my room and jump on me giving hugs. I could hear their little feet scramble across the floor as they approached. Nowadays before they go to school or work and I have to remind them they forgot something. They peer at me with a confused look. I open my arms...where is my hug?

They still tell me they love me but it doesn't happen as often. When I see them troubled I constantly offer my ear and inform them I'm here and will listen. Most of the time I'm told I just won't understand. I remind them that I can't understand unless you tell me what's up.

I understand that they're not my babies anymore. All I can hope for is that they always succeed and be better than I could have ever been. I just can't help to see the irony. Kids seek out the love of their parents when the parents don't ever give a shit and then the parents who try so hard yet can't seem to win for losing. It's stupid by design.

My wife says it's hormones and a life phase. When I was their age I don't recall my behavior reflecting her theory. But truth be known I wouldn't give up any of my experiences with my family. I love them all. Hopefully, everything will work itself out. I have bad dreams of being some ancient fuck sitting in an old's folks home shitting my pants devolved back into a baby wondering where everyone is and how I got to this point.

Being a parent has some really awesome moments. One should take being a mom or dad very seriously. It's not a game but sure throws some fucking curves like one does. My advice is to never underestimate your children. They will do things you did not think possible. They can be the greatest experience in life and also have the power to destroy you. Hopefully for all our sakes love rules out in the end.

Brett Keane
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