Open your mind’s eye for a second and flash to a bunch of dudes.  Voices rising, they pound their chests and yell, “No Regrets!!!”  You try to ignore them, but secretly you roll your eyes and scoff at them.

And yet today, I’m feeling them.  KD starts school tomorrow, and he has been acting out like crazy.  Defiant and difficult.  He’s getting under my skin big time.  And I don’t even see him that much during the heat of the day.  I don’t want to speak for my wife, but she’s with him full time.  Enough said…

As a therapist who tends to be rough on himself and reflective, I’ve wondered if his acting out has anything to do with what I have done or not done.  Maybe if I spent more time with him.  Maybe if we’d played more sports together.  Maybe…  I don’t know.

Yet, I’ve stopped myself: KD has had a dream summer.  We moved into a fabulous house.  We vacationed in Los Angeles, where he got spoiled to high heaven.  We took several trips to San Francisco and had great seats for a Giant’s game.  Etc…

Admittedly, that’s just stuff.  And it isn’t stuff that makes for close relationships. It’s time, and could I have spent more of it with him?  Sure.  But when a dad knows all the costs of the properties and rents for houses and hotels, you know he has played a ton of Monopoly.  We don’t have all the chess pieces, and those we have are cracked.  And we’re using checkers for the rest.  I think we’ve played a ton of chess.  As I write, there are half-played games of each in the living room.  He and I have bbq’d numerous times, many of which have included friends over.  I could go on and on and on…  I think he has had a pretty good summer.

I know I’m being a little bit defensive.  Without a doubt, I could have been a better dad.  Around more.  Less crabby when I have.  Still, I’m with him 7 days a week in the am, and a good amount of time in the evenings and all day on weekends.  I’m a pretty good dad.

Who the hell knows why KD is being so incredibly difficult.  I’m sure my imperfections are affecting him, but there’s tons more to it.  Maybe he’s just bummed out to be going back to school. I don’t know. And I’m done trying to figure it out.  So, as I sit in my office, I close my door, pound my chest, and quietly scream, “NO REGRETS!!!”

As usual, this therapist, parent and spouse muddles through life, doing the best I can.

Until next time…



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