On Fathers and Father’s Day

I woke early this morning thinking about some problems I was struggling with, and it hit me that today was Father’s Day. I also went immediately into my feelings of disappointment at how I had failed in many ways as a father – the missed ball games, the school programs, not being available to just hang out. I remember times my children told me to get a life.

But I was too busy. I look back now and see that I was on the rack, working to establish my medical practice, doing my hospital duties, etc. etc. Not enough time for my children.

And at times in the past, I’ve felt my relationship with my children was not good, that my influence meant nothing. I had recently begun giving my books to my grandchildren. My children would not be interested in things good old dad wrote, right? Maybe there was hope for better relationships with the next generation. A new start.

But I realized today that I’m very fortunate to have three biologic children (and two stepsons) whom I can be proud of. They are all successful and have wonderful families. I heard from two of them in writing yesterday, and all three of my biological children today on the phone.

I still believe that I made many mistakes as a parent, and wish that I could start over, knowing what I know now. But I no longer believe that I have to skip a generation. I just hope that I will find time to travel and visit family. There may yet be time to have a positive influence on the next generation. Still, I’m not holding my breath that they will want to read my books.