Even after 10 years, the word “father” still feels foreign to me. It makes me want to go, who? Me?
I think fatherhood, or parenthood, is something that should fade gradually overtime as the child claims her own independence. In that process, the parent too regain his own self.
When the parent refuses to do so, the child too is prevented from becoming her own self; their identities forever enmeshed.
Being ourselves is hard. I think it gets harder as we get older, and we find comfort in the idea of identity that is imposed on us from outside. Who we are no longer needs to come from within. We transform our own failures into hopes of success in our children. The pain of existential questions is passed on like a baton.
But alas such a maneuver wouldn’t last forever. Sooner or later, when your child is mature enough, she will remind you that it’s your own baton, and give it right back to you.