Posts Tagged ‘Fathers’

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out of character

sentimental admission

told sons I loved them

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© Paul Nichol.2015

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This lunchtime I took my two eldest sons to the Pub for a pint.   J was recently eighteen and O is home from University for a few days of eating, drinking and washing.

This was an important time for me, a ‘rite of passage’ in my relationship with J, for he too is an introvert.   J seldom asks us for things and he is intensely caring and reserved, but when he is the focus of our love and attention, he shines as a beckon of joy that fills our bruised hearts.

As I sat with J in the Pub, talking, and watching him play pool with his brother, I could not help but reflect on my own life aged eighteen, how, by then I was already lost to such family bonding experiences.   My own Father had died just before my seventeenth birthday so I never experienced this kind of physical transition into adulthood and the emotional significances such moments generate.  My relationship with my own Father was torrid and unpleasant and I have few memories which are worthy of recall.    I expect the disappointments he saw reflected in me blinded him form recognising my better qualities, for he saw only his own disabling failings revealing themselves in my adolescent character, and therefore, he disliked me almost as much as I suspect he disliked himself.

How significant can going to the Pub with your Dad be, when measured against all the other emotional and physical dilemmas’ confronting an adolescent youth?    How pleased would I have been to share a pint with my Father if he had lived, not very, I suspect, alcohol was neither his friend nor mine.   However, that was then and I am not my Father, I know am better than him.  Fatherhood is more than a social trophy with which to beat those under your protection with, either psychologically, emotionally or physically.   Fatherhood is an honour.  Fatherhood is the greatest challenge any man can face in his lifetime, a Father must challenge his own failings and correct any damaging behaviours before they are transferred to his child, he must encourage, affirm, love unconditional, share himself without prejudice of favour, listen, laugh, cry, but most importantly he must be there; for a disengaged Father is no Father at all.

I pity my Father because he failed me, and as a consequence, I failed him, and so the spiral of mistrust, anger and bitterness grew every stronger.  He was the adult and should have taken responsibility for our crumbling relationship and taken steps to rectify or to at least stop our collapsing bond.   I know now what a difficult task that would have been; for I was that angry young man, mature beyond my years, disaffected and fiercely stubborn, touching the point of self-destruction., but still a child.

As I look upon my own children, who exhibit qualities of emotional and social maturity which I never processed at their age, I consider whether I should finally acknowledge my achievement as their Father.   For all my sons must carry the same flawed character traits that plagued my early years and those of my kin, and it would be naive of me not to acknowledge the potential for them to erupt once more in any of us:  And I can only hope that through the love, time and commitment I have given my children, those destructive character traits have been permanently transformed into qualities, strong and virtuous.

I have inevitably made mistakes as a Father and now it is up to my sons to recognise them and know not repeat them.  My children give me pure joy; my own Father never experienced this powerful sensation, he never knew my possibilities.

How significant can going to the Pub with your Dad be?   Isn’t it obvious……………Cheers.

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© Paul Nichol.  April 2014

Tanka 46

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Poetry, Tanka
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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You kiss me lightly,

upon my aging pale crown.

A princely comfort.

Son, you have now outgrown me,

in many wonderful ways.

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© Paul Nichol.  March 2014

.Cake 50th

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I had a great birthday today and received some very individual and symbolic gifts from my immediate family, however the greatest gift I received was these words written by my middle son in his card for me. 

For me these are the simple words of love that were missing from my own distorted childhood, they are priceless and I will treasure them always.

Hi Dad,

Sorry I can’t be with you today but duty calls.  I hope you have a GREAT Day and say hello to the lions from me J

I just want to say how much I love you and appreciate you and for everything, you have done for me.   I speak for all the boy’s by saying you are a GREAT Father (even when you’re angry). 

 You may be turning 50 but at least it is not 51.

So, Happy Birthday and enjoy my present and the zoo!  One more thing before I go, which is that I know if I ever needed advise on anything I could come to you, even when I am in my moody, stressed out, self.  I know I can count on you 100%

 

Anyway, I’ve got to go white water rafting now, so have an amazing day and have lots of fun,

 

See you soon, lots of love

……………..  xxx

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16th June

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A continuation from yesterdays ‘A note to myself’

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I have to question my motives for wanting to expose my children to the darkness of some of my poetry.  What purpose would it serve; parenthood should be about portraying the joys of life, I should protected them even from my own vanity and not to do so would be selfish.   Therefore, I will not be showing them my poetry, although I am going to be less secretive when it comes to my writing in the future.

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15 June

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Tomorrow is Fathers Day, a day for celebrating Fathers.  For me tomorrow will be a day of disclosure, for through my interaction here on WordPress, the encouragement and inspiration I have received from those I have encountered, I have made the decision to print and show my poetry to my three sons, so destroying the  wall of deceit that I myself have constructed and I sit behind when writing.

I know it will not be easy for me, but by posting this note to myself, I am at least recognising what I know must be done.  Moreover, what better day is there for a Father to unveil his secret poetic passion, than on Father’s Day?

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