What I wanted from my dad

by Rod Smith

I’ve heard these themes – these are not quotations – time and again from young people. The spin varies depending culture and economic status.

I wanted my father to talk with me – not only teach me or tell me what he expected or to tell me his stories from the past that seemed like ancient history to me – but to engage with me.

I wanted a dad, not just a sports coach – although I loved it when he coached me sports.

Even though I was trying to be very masculine and self-sufficient I needed to know my dad had my back.

Sometimes it felt as if my father was really trying to get close to me but that he didn’t know how – like he was afraid of me. I only know that now – I couldn’t see it then.

All I wanted was for my parents to be friends – the divorce didn’t stop the fighting.

When my parents were friends everything was hopeful about life – when they fought, even over the smallest things, it would feel like my life was falling apart.

“The thing I remember the most was when he’d ask my mother to leave the cooking up to him and to me – those are the times I really treasure.” (Actual quotation)

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