2016-03-12 by Object of Contempt
A commenter on my last post wished me well with my healing, which was very nice. People who read my blog can’t help but see so much pain that it may very well discourage responding in any way. When someone responds kindly, even when I don’t respond immediately, it matters to me.
I had read the comment and was on my bed trying to deal with the depression and not making any headway. I’m still in my marriage (for several reasons) and don’t see a safe place where healing can happen. As I was mulling this all over in my mind, 3-of-5 came into the room. He’s a young teen with a strong interest in computers, and in just about anything having to do with sci-fi, superheroes, aliens… you get the picture.
Well, he came in to tell me he had an idea what to do for his mom’s birthday. He figured I’d bankroll the idea. I wasn’t sure if it was the right time, but I hate family secrets so I explained without too many details what was going on. I tried to give him enough information that he would realize it wasn’t just a matter of his dad being in a bad mood. On top of it all, I felt it was important to apologize to him.
It is hard to function as a young man when your dad is barely functioning, the finances are nasty, and there is a black nameless cloud is covering your parents. I told him that I loved him, but that it isn’t fair for a parent to ask/expect a kid to fill in for a spouse. I told him I hadn’t provided properly for the family, and that I want to. I apologized for those things and some others. I told him that he should know what is going on in the family, but that he was still welcome to do something special for his mom, even if I can’t.
My son’s response was to remind me of a seen from one of the Batman movies. Batman said that he can’t be the hero that Gotham deserves, but he can be the hero that Gotham needs. He compared me to Batman! He said I was the hero he needed! I’m sure it sounds like I’m being a sap and making a big deal out of nothing. But the truth is, throughout my life, I don’t recall ever being complemented so highly. My wife has never told me I’m a good man. My parents couldn’t find it in themselves to compliment and encourage.
My son’s remark will stay with me a very long time. He may never understand how much he blessed me. My eyes got red and watery, and he didn’t even say, “Dad, Batman wouldn’t do that.” 🙂