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Fatherhood and Patience…(part 5 of 5)

If you have been following along in this five part blog post I hope you may have gained some insight into how we as men pressure ourselves with the need to be “in charge” and “under control” and how that may lead to impatience. If a little bit of “consciousness raising” has occurred and you are a little more aware of your feeling states as a dad…great. If you begin to see the process of becoming a more patient dad has a lot to do with being impatient and understanding you can make another choice of action in a tense situation. We all, at times, in our attempt  to be good dad’s fall short and that should be nothing to feel shame about (a little embarrassment isn’t bad) and we are all on a continual path of development….Here is a poem about a moment where it all shifted for me.

The Window

I was getting ready to go to work

to give a lecture.

I am putting my notes

in my briefcase

when the ball comes through the window,

the glass flying,

a million tiny knives all over the living room.

In that moment, I feel my anger begin to grow:

my frustration at this house,

never being organized enough,

the expense of getting the window fixed,

the temporary solution of living with cardboard

or an old piece of plywood,

thoughts of how will we

clean up all this glass–

my anger grows as I know I will be late

for my presentation.

I hear your small 4 ½ year old feet

running up the steps,

I see your small arm push

open the door,

your eyes look up to mine

moist, searching.

I take you in my arms:

“Are you hurt?”

It’s o.k.,

it’s only a window,

it can be replaced.

What’s important is that you are not hurt,

it’s only glass,

you are my son, I love you.

Let’s get the broom.”

Each moment of fatherhood is chance for self reflection and insight. It is the gift our children bring to us with all their needs, demands and emotions. I hope you will take the opportunity to let your own emotional life grow with your child’s development.

In this five part series for us as dads it also contains another possibility. If you notice how you regulate your emotions it will become a model for your child as he/she grows and develops. I know that the more patient I became over the years with my own children the easier it was for them to unfold their own personalities.