I have a trick knee. Bet you didn’t know that. Yep. Once or twice a year, it does this marvelous thing. It stiffens up and I can barely walk. I could tell it was coming on Friday night. It left sleep a difficult thing Friday night. Saturday was absolutely miserable. Today it’s not much better. There goes my Father’s Day bike ride.
The weird thing about this is … well, there are three weird things. First, there is nothing I can point to that I did Friday to cause the stiffness. Just as there never is when it happens. Second, there is no swelling. And third, what hurts the most is the back of my knee, not my actual knee. Although after walking on it for a day and a half, the limp creates pains in other areas, including my knee.
Anybody else experience something like this? My doctor would just say, well you tweaked it somehow. Ice and Motrin and blah, blah, blah, blah.
To my fellow bloggers — those of you who follow me and who I have followed as well — it’s been one of those weeks. Too much turmoil in my kingdom. A little this and a little that and I just haven’t been here. While I check in on my Reader every day, once or twice, I’ve failed to keep up with you. It’s one of those weeks where I’m just not that interested. And, it has nothing to do with you. It’s me. So, there you have it. Let’s see what next week has in store.
It’s Father’s Day. One of those days where we’re all supposed to write some deep and profound words about fatherhood. Our fathers. Our kids. Fathers and sons and daughters. Sons and daughters and fathers. About the beauty and wonder of it all. I don’t have it in me today, though. It’s part of the turmoil. A few weeks ago, I shared my favorite poem. Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden. It’s a stunningly powerful collection of words. A couple of days ago, Dadicus Grinch posted the poem and wrote much more than I had about the connection between the poem and his own life.
Unlike Dadicus, I never felt anger in my childhood home. Unlike my childhood home, however, I feel like my home now is filled with anger and it’s almost entirely my own. And I wonder if that is what I will leave my kids with. Memories of me. In a shell. Withdrawn. Fueled by anger and frustration. Instead of love and compassion.
Here’s one of the reasons I’m so flummoxed by this entire topic. Father’s Day. One day a year. Add it to my birthday and Hanukah/Christmas. And the wedding anniversary. What’s that add up to — four days a year. What about the other 361? Why don’t those matter? Why celebrate those days with people who ignore you the rest of the year, or worse, treat you with disrespect and disdain.
As Dadicus writes:
I am trying so hard to be present in his life, to show him my unconditional love.
This was me for years. I was a father and husband 365 days a year. Trying as hard as I could to be there for my boys. Same thing for my wife. What’s the point of having kids or a marriage if they (or it) are only something you celebrate a few days a year? I thought it all was worth a daily effort. I was in my kids’ lives every single day. Maybe it was too much. Maybe I was overbearing. Maybe my desire to teach them life lessons overwhelmed their need to just have fun.
My oldest and I are permanently angry at each other now. I’ve tried in various ways to reach back to him, but it seems nothing works any more. He is his own person, which is as it should be. I just never thought our relationship would deteriorate this badly. I never thought I would dislike my own son as much as I do now or that he would dislike me in the same way.
People who have gone through the parenting of teenagers tell me it will improve. Once he leaves home, he’ll realize that maybe I was right. Once he leaves home, maybe he’ll finally mature and take real responsibility instead of the immature pretend responsibility he takes now and thinks is real. Once he leaves home, “he’ll come back, you’ll see.”
It’s hard to see that happening. In this moment, it’s hard to see why I would want it to happen. Here we are. Barely talking. Barely being present in each other’s life. And I’m supposed to want to spend Father’s Day with him? Why?