When we are young we often spend a lot of time and energy distancing ourselves from our parents. We can become really keen to highlight how different we are from them. This is all natural in our quest for individuality and independence (from the family unit). Then as we get older, the time can come when we begin again to see the similarities between our parents and ourselves as something special and validating.
I am finding that the more time I spend with my dad, the more I see and celebrate the similarities between us. This recognition and this bond fills me with a special kind of warmth. From once seeing dad as embarrassing, uncool and a pain, my adult experiences allow me to see him in a wider context, as; father, husband, grandfather, son, migrant, worker, gardener, creative spirit, comedian and person. I am now able to see him as a human, to see his tenderness and fragility, his genuineness, kindness and compassion. Yes he is still far from perfect (as am I). Being human implies imperfection. However, I am now able to see and understand that he tries to do what he feels is right, just as the rest of us do and we all know how hard that can be at times.
What was the turning point for me? I have no idea. But regardless of how it came to pass, it has and this fathers day I am reflecting on how proud I am of the similarities between my father and myself.
Happy fathers day dad!