Dear Diary, Parenting

Dear Diary: A Father’s Connection

Dear Diary:

All he ever wanted was to connect with them.

When we found out we were going to have sons, Kevin did what most fathers do: he fantasized about doing guy things with his sons someday. He would teach them things, he would grow close to them, he would have little buddies to hang out with.

That hasn’t really happened. Oh sure. Our sons love their father (probably more than me since he’s so much more rational with them than I am and plus – I’m a girl), but I don’t think Kevin feels like they are as close as he would like them to be. It’s taken him years to really find common ground with them. Kevin is a fix-it sort of personality. He enjoys challenges. He likes puzzles. He takes a hold of a problem and doesn’t let go until he figures it out and then conquers it.

I call him my bulldog because he simply doesn’t let anything go. (Which, on one hand, is a good trait to have because stubborn people are generally more successful simply because they don’t give up. But on the other hand, you have to learn when to quit because after you’ve reached a certain point, that point where you know in your heart it’s not going to work, it just becomes a waste of time and life is too short to beat dead horses).

But our boys aren’t interested in the same things as Kevin – not really. They could care less how to monkey rig a problem, or make something last longer than it was intended to last. They don’t care about creative maintenance solutions – they would rather just go out and buy something new than figure out what the problem is.

(They come by that mentality honestly. *ahem*)

They aren’t fascinated with problems or problem solving. (Kevin is an accountant and enjoys figuring out logical solutions to messy presentations).

They could care less about cars.

Or cooking.

Or music. (Though Jazz does love his saxophone, he’s not really interested in the type of music that Kevin loves – grungy guitar rock-type songs).

They don’t give a rat’s behind about yard work. Or house maintenance. (Though they should and will whenever they get to the homeowners stage one day).

Our sons are spoiled, entitled and have never really had a tough day in their life. And we take total blame for that. We molded them. We protected them. And they will have a rude awakening one day, I’m sure.

Reality is not all about rainbows and unicorns. Am I right?

So, when the boys saved up enough money to upgrade their computers (they both work with Kevin and Kevin pays them minimum wage and swears that he couldn’t run his business without them because he’s getting more and more clients) and bought customized parts to build bigger and better gaming computers and asked for Kevin’s advice on what to buy and then spent hours in the kitchen together putting those parts back together again, Kevin was in absolute heaven.

Finally. He found common ground. Finally. He found something they were all interested in and could bond over together.

He was happy. He told me he was happy. His actions spelled happiness. And it warmed my heart to see all three of them grow that much closer.

I have reached a point in motherhood where I am no longer inside their world: I’m outside looking in. It’s a weird position to be in considering I was one of those helicopter moms who wouldn’t allow their boys to say “BOO” unless I gave them permission to say “BOO.” In some ways, I miss those days. I miss my little boys who looked to me for guidance and relied on me to take care of them.

But mostly, I glad those days are over. I’m ready for them to take the reins of their lives and ride their choices into the sunset. I’m ready for them to meet adulthood without me hovering in the background. I will always be there for them if they need me, but I no longer wish to be the first person who they turn to if they have problems.

They are no longer boys, they are men. And they need their father now more than ever to teach them HOW to become men. It’s Kevin’s turn to take the parental reins and though one small part of me is sad, most of me is fascinated by the changes I see almost on a daily basis. I find myself in an interesting situation now: I’m the parent on the other side of the looking glass now. Though my job as their mother will never be complete, I think I’ve played my last mothering card – we’re using a new deck now and it’s Kevin’s turn to deal them a new hand.

It warms my heart to see Kevin so happy to take over. He eagerly took on that responsibility yesterday when he helped Jazz put his newly built computer back together again and their father/son conversation left me feeling warm, safe and secure inside – they are both in such good hands. Kevin is an excellent father – I couldn’t have prayed for a better father to my sons. He’s patient, kind, and considerate. He openly tells them he loves them, and is not embarrassed about the admission.

I think Kevin has solidified that father/son connection he craved.