I looked up at the clock a few minutes ago and realized it was just past midnight. That means my son is now seventeen. As that thought hit me I entered into reflection about the young man he's become and the struggles we've had to even get along at times.
I'm not going into details on this one. Suffice it to say that while I think I am a good father overall, I've done more than a fair number of cruel things to my son from an emotional standpoint. Thinking about it all makes me cringe on the inside more than a little. I can apologize all I want, but I can never take those painful memories away from him, no matter how much I may wish it so.
Most of those actions were my ham-fisted attempts to actually be a good father and teach him some important life lesson I felt he needed to learn. While my intentions may have been good, you know what they say about the road to hell...
That all being said, despite my meddling my son has grown into a fine young man. He's honorable and honest. He possesses a wicked sense of humor. He's thoughtful and responsible. He's passionate... oh so very passionate about whatever he feels he needs to be. He knows who he is and what he is about, which is something that took me much longer to figure out about myself.
My son has a mix of both his mother and I. Most of his good traits can be traced to either one of us, though his mother leads in that contributional category by a slight amount. As for his faults, ninety percent of them can be directly traced to me. Yep, I taught him the bad with the good, and he took all the lessons to heart.
He and I do not shy away from confrontation, either physical or verbal. We're also both pretty good in both of those arenas, though neither one of us has had to prove it physically for a bit. Interacting with him has also taught me that it's no fun to argue with yourself. The boy is so much like me that we argue like we were clones...
I guess the Mother's Curse does come true... "I hope your children are just like you so you know what I have to deal with every day!"
Gee... Thanks, Mom.
Happy Birthday, Son. With me as your father, you earned every one of them...