God Help Me. I’m My Father.

ward_cleaver

Me

Tonight my wife Catherine and I went to Pottery Barn to buy two white panel curtains that I’ll later hang in her office using my drill, a screw driver, a pencil, a level, and a step-ladder. When we arrived home at around 8 p.m. I made myself a martini, which I sipped at the dining room table while Cat warmed us both up some soup. We enjoyed our soup while sitting in front of our big TV watching “Indiscreet,” starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. About 10:30 I got tired, and went off to bed.

But now I can’t sleep. And the haunting thought that’s keeping me awake?

When—oh, God, when??— did I become my father?

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • casey

    as soon as you said, 'ill never be like my dad.' as a teenager.

  • Liz Edmundson

    We are even worse. We have side by side recliners and I keep mine covered so it stays clean! Nooooooooooooooo!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Liz: Oh, yeah. You should kill yourself now.

  • http://bgjackofalltrades.wordpress.com Bitsy Griffin

    It's even harder (terrible, awful, disheartening) when you look in the mirror and see the parent you never wanted to be staring back at you ;)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    If that ever happens to me, I just return the mirror. Problem solved.

  • http://kansasbob.com/ kansasbob

    Your father is Ward Cleaver? … you knew I'd follow you here from FB :)

  • Vickie Holt

    I submitted an article, "When I Knew I Became Like My Mother," and it was featured in our local paper. It becomes very strange when you hear your parent's words coming out of your mouth. I am trying to be a "cool" Mom! Peace out.

  • http://www.twitter.Com/Deggsy Derek O'Brien

    Well, if it helps, think of it as not becoming your father, but rather sitting on his shoulders. It seems like you're him, seeing and hearing what he would, but your vantage point is just a little bit higher.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Someday I hope to be like J.R. “Bob” Dobbs

  • http://www.padontstandforpaloalto.wordpress.com Lauri Beamish

    I was going to comment on how much you look like "Leave It To Beaver"s father until I saw it in your tags. Sometimes the blonde takes over. LOL. Oh, by the way, I hope this never happens to me. I told my kids if I'm ever like their grandmother, "just shoot me". LOL

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim Arnold

    When I was younger, I was upset to hear myself channeling my father. Well channeling isn't the right word. He was still alive, so "parotting" (sp?) may be a better choice. Today, my dad has passed onto an Alzheimer's Disease-free heaven where HIS Father's words and actions are forever alive in his heavenly members. I hear my dad in my words, and see him in my actions…and I am honored. It is odd, but his influences (right and wrong) played such an integral part in my coming to God.

  • Latoya

    I am honored to say I am becoming more like my mother everyday!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    So am I.

  • http://kansasbob.com/ kansasbob

    Latoya's comment reminded me of this poem that I wrote about my dad who passed away almost 8 years ago:

    I once imagined, that when I was old, a man of position I'd be.

    An admired man. One of good works, that many would see.

    Now, at the mid-point of my years, my eyes turn back to Dad.

    I find myself wanting to be like him in ways that surprise me.

    You see, when I was young, I didn't see the strength of his love.

    I didn't understand the nobility of the sacrifices he made for me.

    The part time jobs, the hard work, the man asleep on the couch.

    Images, that now give warm feelings, I then didn't understand.

    For I didn't know what made a man a man, and a dad a dad.

    But I know now and I want to be like my father, Lawrence J.

    A man full of kindness, of gentle strength, of quiet inner love.

    I thank God for my Dad, his love for me and my love for him.

    I sent this poem to my dad inside a Fathers Day card. We didn't talk about my poem while he was alive (wish we had) as he lived in another state. After he passed away I found the poem amongst his things. It made my heart glad.


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