April 2, 2007

I Brought You In This World…

Posted in Parenthood at 11:31 pm by sonofthed

I’ve got a son.

Yeah, sometimes I have to still tell myself that. I have to just say it out loud and hear the words as if someone else is saying them. And as I hear this, I think about all that comes with it. And sometimes it’s overwhelming. Not all the time. I mean, I guess I was always given the impression that if you become a teen parent that your life is over. So when I found out that I was in that category, I thought that was it for me. The End. Roll credits. But not at all. Life is good. So far parenthood is a great experience and I’m learning a lot.

One problem I’m running into lately though is that my wife and I seem to have different styles when it comes to dealing with him. And as a result of that, he listens to me…and not to her. I never wanted it to be like that. And I wonder how much of it has to do with my own upbringing. When I was growing up, my parents were what I would consider pretty strict. Not like ridiculous..well sometimes ridiculous. Anyway, my mom was always the more lenient of the two. My dad was the hardass parent. That’s not to say that my mom let me get away with everything. Not at all. I just mean that if you wanted something in that house, she’s the one you would ask. If you wanted to do something or go out or use the car..she’s the one you would ask. If you got in trouble and the principal had to call a parent..she’s the one.

And I don’t know if this is a direct cause and effect thing or not. Probably to some extent. I mean, I’m definitely a more stern parent than my wife. I’m not too hard on him. I mean, he’s 1 and a half. But she just kind of lets him walk all over her. I mean, not that I’m surprised. That’s just her personality I guess. She’s sweet and timid for the most part. I’ve tried to explain to her, though, that she has to be the one in control. She has to make sure he knows that. When I’m on the computer and I hear her yelling at him downstairs and he’s just laughing…I just shake my head. I mean, I can tell she means it..but I don’t buy it for a second. It’s to the point where if she tells him to stop doing something he completely ignores her. Looks her straight in the face and continues doing it. All I have to do is turn my head and look at him. And there it is. He knows it’s game over. The devil is gone and there’s an angel on both shoulders.

I don’t want it to be this way. I don’t like the good cop, bad cop thing. I don’t want him to always run to Mommy so Mommy can save him. I feel like the more and more that happens, the more and more he’s going to like her and dislike me. He’ll respect me but he’ll never like me. I never ever ever wanted to be like my father. I’m sure he isn’t the worst father in the world. Not by a long shot. But honestly..I never liked the guy. Still don’t really. At this point it’s just a lot of indifference on my part though. He has no effect on my life so he doesn’t bother me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I had a father as I was coming up. It’s just that outside of respect, I feel nothing toward him. Haven’t for as long as I can remember. And the scariest part of it all is that every time I go visit my parents..I see that we’re more and more alike. The older I get, the more of him I see in me. And it would break my heart to see the relationship I have with my son turn into the relationship my father had with me.

I guess I feel stuck. I mean, I’m not gonna have a kid that does whatever the hell he wants. No way. Do I just stay on him? Be as hard as I need to be and just hope he turns out as a good person, regardless of how he feels about me? Is that it..just make him a better man than I am and take one for the team? I’ve gotta find that middle ground I guess. Somewhere in between. I don’t wanna be the mean parent and have my wife be the nice parent. If I am trying to instill certain values in him, it’s because it’s something I believe is best for him. I don’t want him to just pretend to be that way when he’s around me and then when he’s around Mom, he can be completely different.

I’ll figure it out I guess. 16 and a half years until he can make that decision to say “fuck you” and never look back. And they said life would be over. They’re just tryna scare you, kids.


  1. Kliman said,

    I wish that I had some sort of advice for you, but uh, I don’t. I guess you have to hope that whatever you do turns out for the best. On the plus side, you have the terrible twos coming up soon, so that should be fun. Good luck figuring everything out.

  2. megan said,

    Your doing a great job, J. No matter what your relationship with your Dad, you turned out very well. Im proud of you, Justen.

  3. ely said,

    I think you are an awesome dad. I never doubted the fact that you wouldn’t be. Stick with your gut because whether you realize it or not…that’s where your parenting comes from. We all come from different roots, and I think that its awesome your son already respects you. You are the boss and he knows that, which is good. I wouldn’t worry about Julian not liking you Justen, because he already loves you and you guys are going in a great path. It’s funny because we all worry about becoming like our mother or father, but its pretty much inevitable in some way or another. You told me once to “be the fuck you”. Its good advice. Keep up the good work! You’re doing great. Much Love.

  4. heather said,

    you’re a great father justen, don’t doubt yourself.

    i must also addddd that you have an incredible way with words, its moving.
    you and your sister are very inspirational people, thats why you two are some of the few people dearest to my heart.
    love you boyscout.

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