Friday, July 12, 2013

Disneyland – Barbara Gowdy




Several thoughts came to me as I read this short story and of course most of them centered around fatherhood (the father plays a major role in this story).

There have been a few times over the past year – only a year because it’s just been that amount of time that I can really communicate with W.- that I have told W. that we will do something “later” or if he behaves a certain way we will “go get ice cream” and as the day plays out, I cannot act upon what I said we would do.  W. is still too young right now to remember what I told him a few hours ago, but that ability is starting to grow in him and soon he will hold me accountable and I will have to stop using this behavior modification technique and will also have to start following thought with my statements…and of course be more selective.
The thought and threat of nuclear war was something that I obsessed over while growing up.  I think I began thinking about it right around the divorce and I’m pretty sure that you could directly link my thoughts of impending inhalation with the loss of my father to his work.  There were times that I mulled over survival scenarios and as I grew older I educated myself, and discovered that I lived in a city that hosted a massive number of military bases which made us target #1…I soon knew that there would be no surviving.  Just that bright light.  There would be no fallout shelter that could save me or my family. I started to accept the fact that death would come fast and that I wouldn’t even know it.  Perhaps I should have lived my younger years a little more recklessly knowing that I could be flash-killed at any second…

Finally, and again back to fatherhood – M. and I are co-captains of our family ship, but as a male, there is that sense that a little more weight for the steering may rest on my shoulders. Of course this is just an illusion caused by the now dwindling testosterone that still manages to course though me – but I know in my head that I have the responsibility to take my family down the right path. 
 
I don’t think I would be responsible if I didn’t think and question if the decisions I made daily concerning M. And W. were the right ones.  Then, I must also think about not over thinking.

Think about that. 

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