Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Teach Your Children Well

I love my children more than I can ever say. They have always been the sources of my greatest pride and purpose. I honestly have very little to show for my life were it not for them. I have always thought that the one thing I have done right throughout the years was to teach them well the basic lessons of life. Now, as I watch their lives unravel, I realize I have been kidding myself all these years. What I actually taught them was worse than nothing. I know now that "what you see is what you get", bears more fruit than "read my lips". What they learned growing up, both consciously and by rote, has now manifested in their adult lives. When I said truth, they saw lies. When I said trust, they viewed deceit. When I said faithfulness, they witnessed infidelity. Forget concepts like integrity, devotion, commitment. Those are just words they heard. What they saw was self indulgence, narcissism and piety. The choices I made became the lessons they learned. Unfortunately for them, they never learned the lesson of consequence. I took it for granted that they could see that too. I assumed they could see all the pain I caused. I was wrong again.
I don't talk to my kids much lately. Their lives have taken a direction that has my guts twisted in a knot. Besides, anything I want to say to them wouldn't make them very happy. Nothing I could say would change what they think or undo the choices they have made. I don't think they want to hear how much I love their spouses and their children. Or how proud I have been of how hard they have worked and what they have made of their lives. I don't think they want to know how much my heart aches or how easily I cry these days. So I guess I'll just keep praying for them and hope God will show them his grace. I still love my children more than I can ever say.

4 comments:

mom said...

You weren't all alone in this.

We did have some pretty rough years but since 84/85 things have slowly gotten better and smoother.

I just want to say thank you for all that you have done that was right and good.

I love you.

me.

m said...

as your children grow up and turn into their own person, they have the foundation that you helped lay, and the independence which you most likely fostered. as adults they are now free to make their own decisions, good and/or bad, and live their lives the way the see best.

that doesn't negate the fact that you're their dad. part of being a parent is letting go, and letting them learn by making their own mistakes. letting them become their own people. but, words like i'm proud of you or i'm proud of who you've become and what you've chosen to do with your life still have weight and still carry meaning. maybe now, more so than ever. maybe more so than you know.

Lexey said...

Reading this hurt. Not only because I've disappointed you, or because you are blaming yourself for decisions I have made in my own life, but because it feels like what you are essentially saying is this: that all I have learned from you is indulgence, narcissism and piety. Not integrity, devotion or commitment. Which makes me wonder if you truly believe that I don't possess those positive character traits? I am afraid that this is what will define me in your eyes for the rest of our lives.

The decisions I've made in my life are mine. You have taught me the best you could. And I believe that what you said in your blog post, is wrong. Dead wrong.

In my life I've never known a man more devoted to his family, Dad, than you. I've never met a man who loved his family more than you.

It means so much to hear you say that you love me. But, disappointment in my character is almost worse than if you were to just not love me anymore. I feel like I've failed. I've not only let my husband down, but everyone surrounding us.

It is a mistake to believe that I don't want to hear what you have to say. It is also a mistake to believe that I don't care what you think. If anything, the importance of your opinion of me is what has kept me from sharing with everything that I'm feeling in my life. I'm not blaming you for my lack of communication, that is solely my action or inaction to take. But fear of your disappointment is a motivating factor to keep quiet about my life. Because there are a lot of things about myself that I'm not proud of either.

I love you, Dad I'm sorry that you feel the way you do. I'm sorry choices I've made in my life have made you feel like You have failed. I assure you, you haven't. I can only pray that someday, you won't look at me as if I have.

Kahuna said...

Like I told you in my email I do not find any offense to this post. And to tell you the truth I think that if you were feeling any other way I would question in my mind how much you care. I know Dad that you are going through these feelings and emotions because of how much you do care. Not only for your two children, but also for your Son-in-law, Daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. You care about how the decisions your children make affect these people. Those feelings are compounded exponentially when those decisions hurt the ones you love and care for. So honestly I am not offended but rather I respect you and your feelings emensely. I love you Dad and I know that you feel like you failed, but please try to remember that is your children that have failed. You gave us the tools to build ourselves with we just have not done a very good job reading the blue prints. However, I do believe that I can speak for Lexey when I say although we may have tripped and fallen we do remember the lessons of having to get back up, dust ourselves off, be accountable, and get back to building.

I love you.