Like Father, Unlike Son

Today at a local restaurant, I saw an interaction between a father and son. They were speaking in a different language to ensure no one was listening. The father was sitting next me at the counter, and the son was making his rounds all over the restaurant. I learned so much about their relationship in a span of only fifteen or twenty minutes.

For instance, I noticed how much the son looked up to his father. And on the other side of that, I saw how much the father looked down upon his son. While I could feel they both loved one another, there was this friction between the two of them. It was as if something was left unsaid between them or an event from the past was still haunting their relationship, or both. The father, from what I could intuit, does not want his son to take over the restaurant when he is gone. I got the sense that he distrusts his son in financial matters and operating the restaurant, even though he made him manager of it.

Unsurprisingly, there is a flip side to this coin. The son resents his father for holding on to his past failures or mistakes and wants him to be proud of him. I don’t know what it will take to bridge the gap between them, but it does not seem that it will be in the near future. I can only hope that I will never carry that burden with my own son.