My Dad sometimes says "guilt is a useless emotion", or was it regret. Whatever, doesn't matter, he is kind of an asshole anyway. While he may be right in the sense that guilt keeps you from living, there is no avoiding it sometimes. I am definitely one of those people who has a hard time steering clear; and the holidays certainly seem to exacerbate these feelings.
If you were to ask Lindsay, she would tell you that I have nothing to feel guilty about. That I am doing my best and that I have so many great things to be thankful for. Which is true. But, it's not really about the things I could have/should have, it is more guilt about the things I have no control over. To see it typed out in front of me, it certainly looks pretty silly. Why would I feel guilt over things beyond my control?
Despite not making much sense, I have it. Dad guilt.
I feel guilt for the things that my children do not have, that I feel they should. I consider it Dad guilt because there is still a small, macho part of me that thinks I should be able to provide everything my children/family needs. No matter what it is, I should be able to get it for them. Unfortunately, the things they do not have are of the non-material persuasion. They are experiences they are being denied, due to the selfishness of others or unfortunate circumstance. Nonetheless, I feel responsible. While I certainly do not take most of my cues from the Ward Cleaver era, I do sometimes still feel like a dying breed. The closet traditionalist, or maybe to better phrase, a closet sentimentalist.
Yes, that is me. I said it. Feeling better already....
I have a strong attachment to memory. To specific times and places. As I am sure, most of us do. So it is natural, I think, to want to create as many vivid and wondrous memories for your children as possible. To me, it is my most important job. This is where my issues lie. For some reason I cannot come to terms with what the reality of modern childhood is, and the sensationalized version I have always held onto.
Maybe I am naive to think that anyone lives this way anymore. Then again, who gives a shit.
Life moves on. Roles are re-defined.
Norman Rockwell is dead. Wes Anderson is alive.
Doing my job. The kids are alright.