Generation 1

1.7: Paternal Potential

I thought that finally I put the problems with my father behind me, but shortly after Penny moved in I realized that the problems with him had simply been transformed.

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The roles had been reversed.

As Penny moved in, naturally, so did her son, Calvin. I cooed and wiggled my finger in front of his face, because that’s the extent of my knowledge of how to entertain a child, but no matter how much wiggling, he would only cling harder to Penny’s arms and stare at me untrustingly.

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And despite my best efforts, I didn’t like him either. I tried to put aside any resentment I may have felt for him for the sins of his father. He cannot be blamed for who his was father was, and I knew that if I let any of the dregs of animosity against his father seep out into my interactions with Calvin, our relationship would be irreparable.

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Although Penny reluctantly agreed to live in the tent with me, that wasn’t an option for Calvin, so we finally build the most depressing little room for him. I saw the mothering, nurturing, and beautiful side of Penny come out with every interaction with Calvin. And although I tried to muster up that same affection, I just couldn’t.

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Calvin was forced to grow up without his father, Wolfgang had moved on to other prizes at this point in his life. Leaving in his wake micro-disasters scattered throughout my life.

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But that meant that I needed to be something to Calvin. I could never be his father, and I still doubt my own ability to overcome the damage my own father did to me and my paternal potential, but I can’t take it out on him. And I will keep trying to be whatever he needs me to be for him.

And that’s not all.

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All of those concerns about my father’s mistakes presenting themselves in my own fatherly skills have now been amplified to the moon. Our legacy was growing, things were still on track, still going the way I hoped they would when I promised myself to step out from under my father’s shadow. But that shadow is slowly creeping back over me. And I don’t want to see it consume me.

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And I’m not the only one on the Lot worried about the changes to come.

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