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What was your father like? Do you think of him when you think of the father you want to be?
This is really something deep for me. Frankly, I think my dad is *censored to prevent bleeding from the eyes*. I know he cares. I remember how he used to care, and what he was like when I was a kid. But that was a LONG time ago. When my uncle died when I was 11, my dad started changing. He's not receptive or adaptive to new ideas. He's the only one who's ever right. Feel free to insert a random old man stereotype here.
I think I want to be more like my mom. She's compasionate, and where I got my sense of humor from. She's generous, kind, and just overall a wonderful woman. But, she still does mess up a lot. And she's not all that rational.
The one thing I guess I can say for sure is that my parents always cared, and I think that's the most important part of being a parent. I think maybe I just wouldn't use them as my model for the kind of parent I want to be.
My dad's an "idea man." He's a good model for me for two reasons:
1) He's reasonable. How he deals with my mom is beyond me, but he's always been a hard worker (worked two jobs while finishing his BA in three years and raising my sister) and comes up with million dollar ideas all the time.
2) I never want to end up like him. He has a job he hates, but goes to every day just to support the family. He's been tossed from position to position, the company he worked for for over 15 years left him when they got sold, gave him to a new company, he has always had bosses that my dad was more qualified, more capable, and more experienced than, and those million dollar ideas? He's had more than 10 of them taken by the company. He makes his companies millions of dollars and sees nothing from it. NEVER do I want to end up like that.
edit: As a father, I'd be blessed if I could end up like him.