It reminded me of my own childhood, which had moments not so different from what he described. My dad died when I was like eleven and I didn't appreciate what a huge hole that left until I was a lot older. At the time, my mom re-married and I wasn't beaten or picked on. People made sure I had clothes, made sure I had food, made sure there was a present or three at holidays and birthdays. Material things weren't lacking.
But I did lack for things. I missed seeing the man get up and go to work every day. I missed seeing the man get cleaned up and dressed every day. I missed seeing the man treating others with respect, no matter what. I missed seeing the man take care of shit that really needed to be taken care of even when it wasn't his shit.
I missed seeing him express love. I missed him experience anger, and how to express it properly. I missed seeing him experience sorrow, or fear. And because I missed seeing him go through those things, I had to learn how to deal with them through trial and error. Or, more to the truth, through not dealing with them.
And I nearly missed the most important fact which is that I need to be present for my children, so they can witness me and learn from me. Today, when 'learning moments', ones where I have to be 'that guy who does the right thing' come up, they're not always pleasant. Usually, expensive. Always, dramatic. So far no one's been injured, suspended, arrested, or un-licensed to drive yet.
Important people are watching. So I don't want to miss any of those times.
Because I am The Man. And it's what I can do. Shivers.