It is very hard at times to separate our own guilt over perceived past inadequacy as a parent and letting our kids have and work on their own stuff. i can relate. Just remember, “love is in the trying.” You always have tried your best and still are and that’s what counts.
I replied with the following –
Amanda, thank you for a very thought provoking comment – I mean that in a very good way. I never thought about it this way “love is in the trying”, this is a phrase I certainly will remember. Thank you for reading and commenting, always appreciated!
The babycenter.com website has an article titled ‘Sweet age-by-age ways to show your love to your child’ that begins with the following –
A $10,000 birthday party? Nah… Making children feel loved and special can be as simple as rolling around on the floor with them! Read on to find age-by-age suggestions.
The article’s suggestions to show you love your child only goes to age 8 years old. Okay, that is fine, but what about after age 8 and beyond; in their 30s, you know adults!
Many of you know, I divorced when my sons were very young. Son #3 was about 3 years old and the other two would be 5 years and 7 years old. I was out of their lives fulltime at a very young age and since that time have tried to prove my love for them, to them in many different ways. I have had internal struggles with myself and I have reinforced myself time after time that I did the best I could with the circumstances. I feel at times my sons do not really care about me, they tell me they love me and I tell them I love them – I always have – since they were little babies.
I have tried to prove my love for them. There was the showing of affection, the providing comfort, the gifts, the vacations and the financial assistance. But as Amanda indicates in her comment, “love is in the trying”.
I think one day they may realize I tried to be a good dad and tried to prove my love to them.
You know I have cancer and have done plenty of research. My hope someday before my time is up, whether it be near or far, I hear those words “Thanks dad”.
When I was younger my dad did not show affection, did not provide comfort, gave few gifts, few vacations and no financial assistance. A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with him and after we talked about my next surgery, he indicated he tried to be a good dad to me. I responded you were and you are the best dad; you have taught me many good things.
I realize now, his love ‘was in the trying’.