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Old 03-07-2010, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,182,546 times
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My parents sure seemed "larger than life" and my first husband definitely had a "larger than life" Mom too...These type of parents seem unreachable and god-like because they are so strong and secure and skilled and supposedly "all-knowing" etc...As a kid I sure felt like a small speck in my parent's shadow. It took me forty-plus years to feel like I had a shot when it came to measuring-up to them....But the day finally came when I did view myself at their level...or even taller at times..Some kids never reach this point and "feel small" in comparison to their parents for their entire life...Did you grow up with )arger than life" parents too?
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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I think all kids view their parents as larger than life. My daughter sees us as such and always has. Parents are our caregivers from the time we are born. They are who we go to to fix things. How can we possibly grow up not seeing them any other way?

Truth is, they, and we, aren't. We're the same size as everybody else. Our parents were the same size as everybody else.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,747,102 times
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My FIL was larger than life. He was a very accomplished man. My husband went through a crisis when he turned 40 because his father was already a millionaire at 40. The realization that he would not accomplish as much as his father hit him hard. Only one of the five children did and he went way beyond my FIL. He learned well at the masters feet.

I'm not talking just earning money but in earning the respect of community, coworkers and family. Everyone knew who my FIL was. He was quite a man right to the end. After his death, we learned of accomplishments he'd never told anyone about. He wasn't one to blow his own horn but he didn't need to. You knew you were in the presence of a great man when you met him.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,182,546 times
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I think it helps when parents point out their mistakes when we are growing up so we can see that they are human too....I tried to do this with my sons...I wanted to let them know that I wasn't infallible...and I thought it was a good way to teach them how to handle mistakes and "own-up" to mistakes that they made too.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:48 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,561,764 times
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My father was always "larger than life" to me when I was growing up. He was full time Army and was an E9 (highest NCO rank that you can attain). He had served 3 tours in Vietnam and commanded respect from everyone I ever saw him around. I remember when I was 11 watching him pack his gear to head to the First Gulf War and to me, my dad seemed invincible.

The funny thing is, I never realized behind the scenes that it was really mom who ran the household. Dad may have been the guy commanding tanks and troops in war, but he couldn't balance a checkbook or put a grocery list together to save his life.

Dad maintained his air of invincibility for a long time. At his insistence, I didn't join the military and instead went to college. I always worked real hard to earn what I percieved to be my dad's approval. I was fortunate in that I was always good at football and it was dad's comments about how much better of an athlete I am, than he ever was, that started the cracks.

Down the line after his retirement when he would come to me asking how he should handle an investment or asking me to go with him to buy a car so he didn't get ripped off, did I realize how human he really was.

I honestly don't think my dad was the "larger than life" parent that dominated anyone's life. It was more his job that made him appear to be so in control of everything and everyone around him that made an impression on me. I kind of grew up thinking that dad could handle anything and run the world. As I got older and he got older, it became evident that that wasn't the case and he was never embarassed to admit his shortcomings. However, he never fails to remind us, as we kid him about not knowing how to balance that checkbook and how lost he would be without mom, that he did at one point in his life mobilize entire armored divisions.

Last edited by NJGOAT; 03-08-2010 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:16 PM
 
510 posts, read 1,405,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Down the line after his retirement when he would come to me asking how he should handle an investment or asking me to go with him to buy a car so he didn't get ripped off, did I realize how human he really was.
It is really difficult to embrace the concept that I must now be the parent figure to him as he can no longer care for himself alone anymore. It takes a lot of patience and understanding. This is not the man I knew growing up. It takes a lot of effort to give the appearance of him keeping his independence and allowing him to maintain his sense of dignity while at the same time you're the one caring for him.
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