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My Father's Mistakes

My father was a musician in his 20s – not just any musician, but one in a popular band, juggling fame with a young wife and family. In an ideal world, he would have focused on his music and waited to have children. It takes time for men to mature, and for us Douglas men, it takes even longer. We've historically been drawn to the chase and attention from the opposite sex.

As I approach 40, I now understand the stark difference between my 20-year-old self and who I am today. I can admire without interacting, a skill my father lacked. He didn't have the discipline to embrace the responsibilities of being a husband or father – traits that take time to develop.

My father made decisions that felt good in the moment but negatively impacted his young family. While I can empathize with his choices, I can't excuse them. His path diverged from mine and my siblings', creating a ripple effect he likely never considered. At 20, the focus is often solely on the present, with little thought for long-term consequences.

Despite his shortcomings as a father, I admired my dad's tenacity, charisma, and charm. He was a talented musician and a savvy businessperson with a warm, inviting personality. He challenged me to think from new perspectives – qualities I strive to incorporate into my own life.

As a father myself, I've made different choices. I intentionally waited to have children until I felt mature enough to prioritize someone else's needs over my own. While I'm not perfect, I'm proud of the decisions I've made and hope to set a better example for my daughter, Sky.

I plan to teach Sky about my childhood experiences, including the impact of growing up without a consistent father figure. I want her to appreciate the special bond we share and understand that not everyone experiences healthy family dynamics.

My goal is for Sky to learn from both my successes and mistakes, pushing our family to new heights. I hope she'll critique my life as I've examined my father's, using those insights to make even better choices for herself and future generations.

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