By Harvey Tobkes

I have a very close relationship with my daughter. Not nearly as close as my wife because mothers and daughters have so much in common that a man, even a father, can never approach that kind of bonding. Nevertheless, we can talk about anything and that includes subjects that would embarrass most people.

However, I’m sure you are perceptive enough to know that in life we all wear masks and people do not truly reveal themselves to others. One’s perception can be a barrier to reality and in my case I think part of that is because my inner mind still wishes to see my daughter as a wonderful little girl, just an innocent sweet pre-teen child of mine. From her viewpoint, I think she sees me as I was in my 30’s and 40’s; handsome and adoring my children yet with a short fuse and easy to anger and to be feared and loved at the same time.


Unfortunately, I just copied my father’s style of being a husband and a father, but he had it all wrong, and so did I. I would give us both a grade of “F” for fatherhood, but In spite of my shortcomings, the children turned out very well. I probably will never know their true feelings about me, and now I realize I made many mistakes, but that is all quite a normal situation in almost every family. All I have to do is look at my friends and their children and I see prevalent divorce, dysfunctional children, unhappy spouses and all kinds of problems. So, I feel I have done a fairly good job.

Yet, with what I know today, I was young, brainless and immature back then, but what about my conscience?

As I said, it’s all a matter of balance, as I did some things good and some things badly.

Of course, that’s just my opinion!

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