I love being a Dad. It doesn't mean I'm necessarily good at it but I try. I examine, I analyze and I try to fix things that I think aren't working in my role.
The other day I was walking my son into school after having had what we call in our house, "a hard morning." I often fall into the trap of fighting too hard for the individual battles when it is the complete war that I need to focus on. Sometimes we parents need to let go a little bit and back off and concentrate on the whole picture. I don't remember the particulars of this particular morning but I know that I was probably grumpier, louder and more stubborn than I would like to admit. When this happens, my and my son's personalities are like oil and water. It gets loud. It gets emotional. It gets embarassing to me when I finally get over myself and calm down.
So we had one of those mornings. By the time we got to school I was still maybe a little grumpier and a little torqued with my son for making it such a hard morning (conveniently overlooking my own part in the situational mood). We walked into school and as we went down the hallway to the classroom door I looked down at the center of my universe holding onto my hand. He had flipped his sunglasses up onto the top of his head like a raised visor and his hair was pushed up and splayed straight up in random directions by the glasses. Without thinking about it I reached up onto the top of my own head where I had done the same thing with my own glasses.
I kissed him goodbye for the day and proceded on to the adult part of my day. But it suddenly occured to me that even when I'm being a bit of an obstinant asshole of a father, my son is still watching. He's still sponging up how to act. He's learning to sometimes raise his voice and to argue a petty detail instead of rising above and staying calm. And this reminder brings me to a calmer place as a parent. Because he's learning alot more from me than just where to put his sunglasses when he goes indoors.