I am always a bit self-conscious when it comes to being the object of a celebration and that includes Father's Day. As human nature would have it, I recall all too often the mistakes and poor calls I made when it comes to raising both my children who are now wonderful adults of whom I am very proud.
I lament over a few occasions I would have loved to go back and say it, or do it differently, but that not being an option, I have reconciled with myself and have come to the realization that I did the best I could based on my awareness and consciousness at that time. The influence we have on our children is so complex and in many cases subtle.
When my son was in grade school, apparently I made an off the cuff, negative remark to my son concerning kids that are overweight. Well, years later, he confessed to me that he let one of his friends go because he was overweight and he felt I disapproved of the friendship. When he told me this, I was devastated. That is when I started to seriously review the impact I have had and still have in my role as a father.
So, celebrating Father's Day is a mixed emotional bag for me. For some reason, it is easy to overlook the positive decisions and contributions I may have made. They are not so much an accomplishment but the way parenting should be. I may not be able to change the past but in the spirit of this Father's Day, I am committing to have an open dialog with my daughter and son to talk about the past and voice my regrets. Hopefully, that will serve as a positive healing exchange that I will remember for next year's Father's Day.