Tuesday: 09.January.2007

Parental Modeling & Becoming Our Parents

I feel good today. Not just physically, either, but emotionally, too. "Happy," I'd even venture to say. Wonder why. Been laughing again. Making others laugh, too. (I can be funny, at times.) Hope it lasts.

Along those lines (maybe not) .. The Good Shepherd opens with a boy who plays a young version of Matt Damon's character, Edward. Young Edward finds his dad lying in a pool of blood .. moments after he commits suicide (he heard the gunshot come from the upstairs bedroom).

In his dad's hand, young Edward sees a sealed envelope, which he (secretly) slips into his pocket, telling no one. Moments later, his mom arrives on the scene and we never hear of the envelope again .. until .. the end of the movie...

... at which time we see a fully-grown Matt Damon breaking the seal and opening his dad's final message. Inside he finds a letter. A voice-over (by Matt Damon, devoid of emotion) reads aloud its contents .. as we watch him put a match to it.

As the letter burns in the ashtray, we hear the opening line of his father's letter, > "It's true what they say about me..." And by the end, we discover that Edward turned out *just* like his dad.

today's entry continued here

This is something that has concerned me (besides things previously mentioned). > We become our parents. Not all of us, but certainly most of us .. even when we try our best not to reproduce their flaws. Such is the power of parental modeling.

As a dad (especially the dad of a boy) I badly want to be a good model. And I'd like my relationship with his mom to be amicable, so his model of a what constitutes a relationship isn't based on anger, resentment, distrust and hostility.

I have friends whose moms were, uh, not very nice, and they now find themselves attracted only to women who, likewise, aren't very nice, either.. not because they want to, but because that's what they're familiar with. Comfortable with. It's sad. They're simply not attracted to nice, sweet girls .. who treat them good.

And what would happen if I weren't there? What would the bug use as a model? And what if his mom found someone new? How much of an influence would that person become? (Probably a big one.)

And what if this person was not very loving toward him? Or what if his mom really did take him back to Michigan? Then what? What does a boy do who has no dad?

I've also been thinking (as his 2nd birthday approaches this week) what advice I might give him, if I had but a minute .. similar to the note Edward's dad left behind. It might read something like:

Be yourself. You are infinitely cooler and more special than you'll ever know. If you're ever tempted to be someone else, remember that any truly unique person got that way by being them self. And to BE yourself, you must first KNOW yourself. -Love always, dad




Posted by Rad at January 9, 2007 07:21 PM

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