Shortly after my recent dairy reaction, I was talking with my dad, letting him know how I'd been and how I was getting on, and he apologized for passing on faulty genes. That really hit me hard. I reassured him it wasn't his fault and that there was no way anyone could've known this was going to be my reaction. He and I have had our share of differences, but he's always wanted the best for me; I'm certain of that.
Now that I'm a dad, it's almost like I've turned the clock back. I try to see a picture of my dad now--remembering him through my kid eyes, yet imagining what I would've done in his situation. It also helps this exercise that my boys are 30 years younger than my brother and I. I find myself thinking, "What did Papi do when he was my age?" Or, "Am I remembering this right? What must it have been like for him to move us halfway across the country to start a new job?"
No matter what stage I'm in, my dad has said how proud he was of me, and I can see a bit of him in me as I parent my boys.