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Happy Father's Day

I remember calling home after moving out and my dad answering the phone. We would chat for a couple of minutes and quickly run out of things to say to each other. I would either ask to talk to mom or he would say, "here's your mother." It's funny how I could talk to my mom on the phone all day, but my dad and I just exchanged pleasantries. I remember thinking he didn't really want to talk to me. This wasn't true, of course, it was just the dynamics of the relationship. Whenever I would come to visit, he was always thrilled to see me and we would spend a fair amount of time together. It sill always ended the same way. He would get on with whatever he was doing and I go and spend time with my mom and whoever else was there. He may or may not choose to be a part of whatever was going on. He was always just happy that I was there. My kids' dad and I are divorced now, but I think about this sometimes on Father's Day. The fact is that most of our activities were driven by me. He was around, of course, happy to be a part of whatever was going on, but equally happy just knowing his family was together and that everyone was okay. He didn't need to be front and center; that was more my role with the girls. We did plenty of things as a family, but he was not really interested in shopping with us, or sitting around talking or doing the things we were doing. I used to project that he didn't care about the girls or being part of our lives, but I can see now how I may have been wrong. It's funny how we view relationships. We tend view them from our own perspective and forget to consider the other. This is short sighted and many times we have ideas about those relationships that may not even be true. I want to offer that maybe relationships are simply the sum total of what we think of them. Think about it. Have you ever had anyone come to you and say they thought you didn't like them or misinterpreted something you said or did? Or vice versa? This is because relationships are just the sum total of what we are thinking about the other person. Fathers, how do you want to think about your relationship with your children? How can you create that?

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