"I'm gonna sacrifice everything to raise this child who will one day hate me," said one of my pregnant friends in a joking manner. But what was only a small joke I happened to overhear last weekend has, at one time and every once in a while again, been a legit fear of mine.
There have been a series of fears I have had to expose, face, and overcome to even imagine the possibility of being a father some day; one of them being the image of my offspring several years from now pulling me on to an episode of Dr. Phil to reveal all the flaws in my parenting when I thought I was on a "Father's Day Father of the Year" episode.
In the age of Celebrity Rehab and Intervention we know how to blame our parents for all of our issues. Granted, I am fully aware of the valid disorders and addictive personalities which take root in our upbringing. I am not discounting those realities.
I mean to shed light on how easy it has become to blame our parents for things which are our own shortcomings, but what's worse, we can blame our parents for our own disobedience and poor choices.
This is what drives my Dr. Phil fear.
I am afraid I will try my best to love the hell out of my son or daughter; to raise them with love, grace, discipline, and love only to be blamed, hated, and despised by this person I sacrificed so much for.
I am reminded of how frequently I have assumed he does not love me if he disciplines the way he does or withholds things I think I want or deserve. I am reminded of how frequently I have been angry with him and still found that he has loved me through my accusations.
So when my child grows up to hate me, I hope to be reminded of this sort of love that has been given to me.
LISTENING TO: "The Old Prince" by Shad