I Wanted To Be The World’s Best Dad And I’m Not

I got an email from my son yesterday.

Normally this isn’t news by any stretch. Getting an email from my son doesn’t belong on a blog. What’s the big deal about that?

Plenty. At least for me.

Because my son and I had a falling out many months ago and he stopped all communication with me. It had been building for several years. We argued and just couldn’t see eye to eye, and it seemed every normal conversation disintegrated quickly and left both of us shaking our heads.

My son’s a good guy, 32 years old, huge Habs fan, (I used to take him to games at the Forum and when the Canadiens came to Calgary and once in Edmonton), he loves to travel, and has gone back to school to learn the travel industry. I’m very proud of him in many ways.

But we clash and butt heads. Finally, I said things to him I never should have said and I’ve suffered for my stupidity. I just wanted him to become more of what I thought he should become. I’ve continued to email him and talk to him, always with no reply.

Until yesterday, when his email came.

He got some things out, and I feel the ice has cracked. I sure hope so. It’s never too late to repair a fractured relationship, and I want to start all over with him and show more patience and understanding. and I want him to do the same with me. 

He told me I don’t know him anymore and maybe he’s right, but I’m sure ready to try to get to know my adult son the way I knew him as a child.

And to lighten things up a little, the following might be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done while I was with my son.

It was years ago, he was about 14, and we took his bike to a shop to be fixed. We parked behind the bike shop and went in the back and there was a guy standing at the counter who I went up to. “Yes,” I said, “I’d like to find out about getting this bike fixed.”

The guy didn’t seemed like he was interested in helping me at all, so I repeated it to him. He just shrugged, looked disinterested, and told me maybe the guy over there could help me. I got really upset and with my son turning red, I said in a loud voice, “What kind of place are you running here? This is bullshit. This is the worst bike shop I’ve ever seen. You’re standing here doing nothing and won’t even help a kid with his bike. Etc.”

Finally, the guy told me he was just a customer and I was standing on the wrong side of the counter.

10 thoughts on “I Wanted To Be The World’s Best Dad And I’m Not”

  1. Dennis, congratulations to you and your son on speaking again. Life is too short to hold grudges.

    That bike shop story sounds like something my Dad would have done! Marvelous!!

  2. Touching story Dennis. If your son reads this, he can rest assured you’re a pretty good guy and probably in all likelihood just wanted what’s best for your son. Sometimes that is difficult to communicate but I hope your son just knows you really did want what’s best for him. Communication is critical and respect and honestly. Dennis, you have all that so just move forward and good luck.

  3. I think it’s pretty easy to say that all of your regular readers (Including yours truly) hope that you and your son can get back on good terms and that you both can put your resent aside. Wish you the best, Dennis.

  4. Dennis, I know it might sound strange to say, but to me you are real and genuine and I hope your boy and you can work things out. People can be good but they sometimes clash. It doesn’t mean one is good and one is bad. Sometimes we have two very strong-willed people who disagree. I hope it turns out for the best. And I salute you for being so courageous for sharing this with us. All the best to both of you…

  5. Dennis even the world’s best dad made mistakes. Acknowledging the mistakes, trying to correct them and work things out is what makes them so good.

  6. a person needs to be what they themselves want to be, not what other people want………….. if i had been what my father wanted i would have been a leaf fan and as a result a total and utter failure. thank the rocket i didn’t listen.

  7. Dennis

    I have three sons – one is a stepson. They are all wonderful.

    I go with two of them (hoping to make it all three) every year to see the Habs double-header in January or February. It’s a very special weekend and we will celebrate our 5th year in a row this year. We were there the weekend Huet saved the Habs butts and shut out Boston and Philadelphia back to back. Many other wonderful games and memories.

    I know how important the love of a son is and glad to see the one between you and your son is strong.

  8. Thanks, Vince. It’s strong but it’s fractured. At least I hope it’s strong. It might not be. And thanks for a great story about you and your boys and the Habs.

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