It took a long time to find out the truth of this belief about my dad. I could only see things from my perspective – that of a little girl who was hungry for her daddy’s attention, love and approval. Why didn’t he see that and hear that? Sometimes parents are too busy just holding everything together to see what else is needed. Hear how I found that out.
Dad Didn’t Like Me – #356
I thought my dad didn’t like me much. My mom was always enthralled by my stories of what happened in school or what my friends were wearing or doing. My dad – well, he’d fall asleep while I prattled on about my day.
He would come home in work clothes dirtied from his labor. He was a welder and that was not white collar work. He would take a shower, have dinner and lay down on the couch and before I could talk to him, he’d be asleep. Seemed there was no time for me.
It was years before I realized, he napped because he was exhausted.
He did hard physical labor every day and his body needed rest, not the chattering of a nine year old consumed with her own world.
But when I did have his attention, it was heaven. I remember being with him on a fishing boat he had won in a raffle. Singing with him as he drove the blue Hudson to the mountains for family picnics in the summer. Having him stand up for me when I was bullied.
I remember a tearful session where I accused him of never being satisfied with my accomplishments. An A minus was reproached. It could have been an A. He was shocked to hear that I felt unappreciated. He told me how he bragged about my accomplishments. Told friends and relatives how proud he was of me.
But Dad, you forgot to tell ME.
How many times, as a mom, did I stop what I was doing to pay attention to one child or another? I hope it was enough for them to know how much they meant to me. If it was, perhaps I can credit my own dad. He taught me how it feels when you don’t get the attention you need. Hopefully it helped me to give generously, in the formative years. We need to be thankful for lessons we learn, no matter which way they are delivered.