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Sun Jun 30, 2013, 11:16 AM

My son's birthday was yesterday.

No, he wasn't born yesterday, he turned 37. That was a momentous day for me, many years ago, and I spent some time last night reflecting on that day and some of the effects it has had on my life.

The best memory of the day is when I actually saw my son, and beheld the wonder of a newborn, the miracle of a new life, the feeling of "Oh, my God, this is wonderful". Just the totally awe-inspiring moment of what could be. And, at the same time, one of the bigger regrets of my life--I had never held a newborn before, and I didn't hold him when I had the chance that first day (he went into surgery later that day, and it was 2 weeks before we could hold him).

I remember my brother because of the time we spent together that day, and and what he meant to me (he passed away later that same year). I thought about the love we had for each other, but never let show. I don't remember ever hugging my brother, or getting a hug from him. As far as that goes, I don't remember any type of expression of affection for each other, other than sharing good times together.

From my brother, I thought about Dad, and to one things in my life I am proud of. I don't remember my father ever showing affection for me, or my brother. He wasn't raised in that way, and he carried it over into his adult life. The good memory is the night I gave him a hug, and told him how much I cared for him. Only one hug, and he didn't know what to make of it, but it made me feel good, and I hope it made him feel good, too.

I have to say how proud I am of my son. He has brought a lot of joy, a lot of changes into my life, and has made me a better person for being here.

I just can't believe how long ago he was born!!



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Reply My son's birthday was yesterday. (Original post)
HuskiesHowls Jun 2013 OP
Smarmie Doofus Jun 2013 #1
HuskiesHowls Jun 2013 #2
mokawanis Jun 2013 #3
Denninmi Jul 2013 #4
HuskiesHowls Jul 2013 #5

Response to HuskiesHowls (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 12:47 PM

1. How did we get that way?

 

>>>I remember my brother because of the time we spent together that day, and and what he meant to me (he passed away later that same year). I thought about the love we had for each other, but never let show. I don't remember ever hugging my brother, or getting a hug from him. As far as that goes, I don't remember any type of expression of affection for each other, other than sharing good times together.>>>>

I keep thinking I'll happen upon a good "economic determinism"-type explanation for why ( so many ) American males are like this.

Competitive mentality? ( Other men as potential adversaries) Puritanical origins of USA? ( British are infamous .... perhaps unjustifiably so... for being emotion-suppressors).
Fear of homosexuality? ( But other cultures are fearful also.) Bad toilet training?

I'll never figure it out.

Maybe it's not even true. But it does *seem* to be the case.

Congratulations on son's BDAY. Yes... we often become different people when we become parents. I'm not sure I would have recognized the person I am now.

Some of the change is good. Some I'm not so sure about. But I'm definitely different.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 01:46 PM

2. I have several reasons, I think....

One of the reasons, I believe, was the way our father was brought up. Several things occurred in his life that had to have an affect: (1)his father died when he was 10; (2)it seems that his mother hated men. He wound up being raised after the age of 10 by a very stern grandfather, and his mother. It showed in that our father couldn't show affection to his sons. I think he did show affection to my sister, and most definitely to my mother, but not to my brother and I.

What wound up changing for me, and making life for both of my children better, was getting into therapy. My therapist was a strong believer in the mytho-poetic movement for men, and she strongly urged me to get involved. She knew other therapists who were leaders, and felt that my involvement would help.

It did help me. I found people I could talk to, who had the same background I did. I don't mean economic, or societal background, but I found men who had experienced some of the same things I had in growing up. Finding out you're not alone, and being able to talk about the baggage that you carry, with someone who has had the same baggage, can be a great cathartic. Realizing that I didn't have to just put up with things that hurt, that bothered me, really did help me change my whole attitude about life.

Unfortunately, it was too late to share with my brother, but it has enriched my life tremendously.

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Response to HuskiesHowls (Original post)


Response to HuskiesHowls (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:33 PM

4. This thread makes me sad.

Not in any way to take away from the OP - I think it's awesome you have a great relationship with your son, and you obviously are a great father.

I wish I had been in a position to be a father, years ago. Life circumstances, family history, genetics, upbringing all worked against me. I regret that. I would have been a great dad, the opposite of my own, who was an abusive brute. It does make me sad to think about it. And yes, it is "too late" for me, I have issues which dictate it just wouldn't be the right thing to do.

My consolation, I have been a great dad to three dogs, giving then about the best life any dog could ask for.

Maybe in the next life.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 10:37 PM

5. Dogs don't ask to borrow the car!!

Small consolation, I know. They can be almost as expensive as having kids, though, as they get older and the medical bills pile up. In another way, its harder having dogs, than kids. With luck, the kids will outlive you. A dog, however, is here for a much shorter time, and you know in your heart from the very first day that sometime you'll have to say goodbye to them for forever. Yes, I have several dogs myself....that's my little red Siberian up in the corner.

That being said, I understand you being sad about not having kids of your own. However, I think that you have made a wise decision. I know it had to be hard to come to the conclusion you did. I respect you for that, and feel honored by your comments.

Too many times, men become fathers, but never become "Dad"s. They become fathers for their own reasons, and then find the pressure of the commitment to be too much for them. You took the harder way, and have become a better person for it.

Honor that decision, give your dogs an extra hug, and maybe buy them another tennis ball. They'll love it!!

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