Saturday, June 18, 2016
KC and Fathers Day
On the way back from our city's downtown festival, KC and I had a chance to talk. I knew something was bothering him. I could tell this morning. It's just that thing you sense as a parent. Nothing specific, Just a set to his shoulders, a quietness that is at odds with his personality. I had asked him earlier if things were okay and he said he'd talk to me later.
Walking was a good way to talk. It was just us. But we were moving, yet walking meant staying sort of in synch and step with each other. It was sort of a way of being connected without looking and touching much. So with his hair brilliantly pink--a breast cancer fundraiser thing he did at the festival--we walked and talked.
He wanted to tell me how hard this weekend is. Fathers Day advertising has apparently been beating him over the head the past week and it has reached the point where it was very painful. If I listened to ads, I would have noticed that. As it was, I was late buying my card for my FIL so clearly I was off my game.
For KC we know nothing about his dad. We have been able to find Mom Y and make contact but there are painful circumstances surrounding his father. I have not shared those with KC. I know someday I will have to. I know I have read that our kids are more resiliant that we think and that they would rather know even a bad thing (and in this case it is a REALLY) bad thing than what they imagine. But I am absolutely positive that this is not a level of knowledge this guy is ready for.
What I am grateful for is that he was comfortable sharing. My kids all understand that I have no relationship with my father. My FIL is 'Dad' to me. But KC wisely said that his pain was different. "At least you know what your dad looked like" he said. "And even though he was a jerk and doesn't love you, you know that." "I don't even know if my dad is black."
And he is right. There is pain in the lack of love that my father has for me. But I have a sense of identity. I know my father's family, at least vaguely. I have a sense of my heritage. For him, there isn't that. He has decided that he does not want to ask Mom Y if she can share anything about his father. He is afraid that it might be painful for her and that it would in his words "ruin any chance of a relationship" with her.
It really was a time when all I could do was hug him and tell him I knew he hurt and that I loved him. It's not the kind of hurt I can heal, but I can be with him while he struggles. I hope that helps.