Monday, May 21, 2007

Dad Wins First Place Last Friday

(Dad - reining competiton, 05/18/07)

My Father's midlife crisis occured in his late thirties as he transformed from:

son of a share cropper/avid golfer/unhappy insurance cubicle slaver/religious neophyte/wannabe cowboy

into --->

a semi-pro golfer/self-employed insurance professional/respected elder in his congregation/expert horseman

Now at 63, he's nearing retirement and finally winning some of those horse competitions he's been entering for the last several years (see picture above). Reining Competition is his main hobby now.

My Dad and I disagree on many things, and at the same time are alike in how our brain works. I see him in my face as I look into the mirror. I hear him in my voice when I give a speech, teach a class, or give advice. It's oddly comforting considering our relationship.

For many years I stewed over having to be a large part of the transformative force of his midlife crisis. I was the eldest son - the painful move from city to country (in my early teens), saddling and training horses, throwing hay, putting up barns and laying miles of fence posts, while my little brother watched. It was after I left home at eighteen that my father's financial success came. I watched from afar as my brother trashed the fruit of (what I thought of as) the eldest son's earned inheritance - he wrecked the new Camaro, then the Trans Am while driving drunk, then drained thousands of dollars from my parents in the form of legal fees, all that meth lab police drama. I was still driving the used Pontiac sedan with a million miles on it, co-financed with my Jack-in-the-Box earnings from high school.

Now I just look back, from the perspective of my mid-thirties, and I have a respect for his ability to change his life to one more suited to him and I'm glad that my brother has ditched his wild lifestyle, with the emotional and financial help of my parents. I hope to have my own productive, midlife change soon as well. Hopefully it will not be a "crisis"; I had enough of those in early adult years to last a lifetime. Luckily, my son is an only child.


Blogger EEK! said...

Way to go, Pappy Wheat! Oh, the fun hobbies of our parents. Mine just became bikers - nowhere near as cool as Rodeo Superstar.

3:28 PM  
Blogger MsAPhillips said...

Sometimes you have to squint from the glare of seeing others in yourself.

But better to see.

7:00 AM  
Blogger yournamehere said...

My dad and I are both tall.

That's all I got for you, man.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Steve Caratzas said...

I left home before we had color TV or central air conditioning.

I think I have you beat.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:07 PM  

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