My dad was from another era. He ruled the house. With three daughters, he won the arguments by shouting the loudest. That would probably get you arrested today. But not back when I grew up.
He was big, and he seemed so confident. As the disciplinarian, he had to make decisions about punishment and fairness. Did he have the knowledge and emotional stability to do that successfully? That’s what we explore on this Father’s Day.
We’ve been talking about fathers lately, and it made me think about my own dad. We spent years living in the same house, eating the same food, and experiencing life in the same way.
Yet my images of him and the incidents I remember seem few and far between, considering all the time together. I had to dig deep to pull them out.
I wonder if your dad would be surprised to hear what you remember of him. Was he loving? Brash? Playful? Sullen? Are you remembering accurately or has time rewritten your personal history? Dads might really be surprised to find out what their children remember of them years later.
Father was so big when you were young. And he wielded the power of being the man of the house. He had the ultimate say. At least that was the way it was in our house.
I wonder now how my dad made those hard decisions – when to punish, when to chastise, when to comfort, when to let it go, and when to turn an incident into a lesson in principles or morals.
Did he consider himself successful as a dad? Did he have second thoughts about edicts or verdicts? He seemed so sure of himself all the time. Was he? Always?
I’ll never know.
P.S. Today’s culture seems to suggest that children have the capability of deciding for themselves. Disciplinary action is frowned on. Are today’s leanings producing better people? Is respect still expected and taught? Such a conundrum for young parents to figure out – just like my dad had to do way back then.