It’s not easy being a parent; that’s a given. And jeez! It ain’t easy being an adult child. Had an argument (more precisely – a verbal war) with my dad this morning, and I came pretty close to telling him I wasn’t a twelve-year-old anymore. Jesus Christ!
Forgive my swearing, but obviously, I’m still mad.
Now, you hold it there. Don’t go playing the mirror on this one and be thinking along the lines of all those stereotypical assumptions about dads & their full-grown sons. No room for that here; that’s because I and my dad have a very peculiar relationship. You see, except for the two of us, everyone else says we’re very much alike – allow me to remind you here that what people say & what they mean tend to be as far apart as pluto is from venus, most times. Yeah, we look alike. Five years ago, I looked very much like he did when he was ten years younger than I was then. But trust me, I’m gonna look very different from how he’s looking now when I’m his current age. Lol! Feel free to laugh at me or with me.
Like I said earlier, both I and my dad agree that we are very different men; although he’ll probably tell you different. Oh! You thinking maybe I’ve got our little understanding all wrong. Maybe he actually thinks us alike just like everyone says; or rather, loves to say. Nah. He told me straight up in one of those moments of truth when it is impossible to speak falsehood. That moment changed me for life. That was where my own teenage rebellion began – except that I was barely even twelve.
Maybe, just maybe if he hadn’t made that statement when I was twelve, maybe I wouldn’t have set out to be so distinct from the man he was. But I very much doubt it because I was already surrounded by the material which would mould me into the man I am.
How’d I even get to talking about I and my dad being so different?
Yeah! We had a fight this morning.
You can’t win a fight against your parent. Whichever way the victory flag falls, you lose. The process stings like a bee, and the aftermath more so. Still, I think such conflicts are unavoidable between responsible adults. As kids, the responsibility lies with the parent; the child tends to silently bear the injustice as a price of childhood. As teens, whatever you do which goes against the grain of your childhood behaviour – and which successfully upsets your parent/parents – is comfortably labelled as teenage rebellion or something of the sort. This saves the parents the trouble of responding responsibly. As an adult, you have to put your foot down on certain things – some things which you will do regardless; things which you would have done your way; and some things which your parents did or do for you which you simply won’t have anymore.
The more values you and your parents have in common the less often you will disagree. And yes, I think such conflicts need not escalate into altercations. But you don’t know me and my dad; you wouldn’t even know we were having a fight. Only those within the family can tell.
I’m no expert on this. I’m merely sharing how I’m presently handling this aspect of my adult life. How’s it working out for me? So far so good; I’m seeing the short-term results which I desire. But this is majorly a long-term issue. That’s the only perspective from which we can measure whether I’m truly getting it right or not. That will involve landmarks like the health of my relationship with my parents a decade from now. And ultimately, just how well I succeed in moulding my parents into the kind of grandparents I want them to be to my kids. (Lol! Yeah, it’s my turn to do the moulding, they had their chance)
NB: Hmm. I can feel you getting mad at me ‘cos I ended up not telling you what the fight was about. Lol! You sha like gist! I could feel your itching to hear me tell all along. I sigh. I guess some things will always stay within the family, just within the family.