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John Winchester Part I
 
The Mechanic From the Family of Mechanics
Or
Not So Simple Beginnings  


John, that flawed wreck. That absent father. That stubborn fool. That bastard who put so much on his sons. That obsessive, single minded, revenge driven man who alienated his friends, and formed his children into warriors. 

I like him. 

No doubt, Sam and Dean are close to my heart, but I am a John girl. Why this choice of father over (uber-cool) sons? Well, John Winchester was a separate person, a man apart. I am going to set aside the fact that this is only a TV show (not as big of an effort as it should be) and look at John the man. This article is about taking off the ‘I see John through Dad colored glasses’. 

I’m relatively new to fandom. I found the show at the beginning of Season 4 and fell in love as I never have with a TV show before. Ridiculously in love. No one else I knew watched, so I had no one I could talk to about it. Since I, and most of the people I know, have never really been a huge TV watching crowd, I was fine with staying solo in my enjoyment. I didn’t know any better.

The idea that there would be others out there as in love with this show as I, didn’t even occur to me. Then, as I trolled the internet looking for earlier episodes (the thought of buying seasons of TV on DVD was foreign to me), I ran across some YouTube vids of conventions, and my mind was blown. There was evidently an entire community out there so passionate about the show that they went out of their way and pocketbook to meet each other. How very, very cool! 

All the same, I didn’t think of joining in until a few weeks before the Season 5 holiday hellatus. My edge of the seat anxiety and white knuckled need to know what was going to happen drove me to look for others with who I could discuss it. I found message boards and discovered, to my complete surprise, that there really was such a thing as ‘Sam girls’ and ‘Dean girls’. What? One could like one above the other? Ok, cool, I get it. I found out about Kripke&Co., some pretty cool articles, spoilers, spoilerphobes, Wincest (you mean that’s real!?), and I found the negativity and hate that is surprisingly easy to trip over. That made me sad and caused me to back away from my initial discovery of fandom. That isn’t to say I didn’t spend time enjoying the talents of vidders and watching con clips, where I found myself to be a fan of the actors as well as the characters they portray.  

I’d also bought the DVD’s near the summer’s end, before season 5 started. There was no point any longer in pretending I wasn’t as hooked as I was. Finally being able to watch the seasons in order and fully, brought John more under my scrutiny. I’d noticed him before, loved him, but he was part of my trifecta of Winchester loving.  Quite honestly, I thought both Sam and Dean were much more fun to look at, though John certainly wasn’t an eye sore. Not at all! But the more I considered him, the more intrigued I became, and the more I fell for him. John’s enigmatic character hooked me in and I’ve been a John woman since. 

Why this trip down memory lane? I’ve no doubt that there are encyclopedias worth of view points, beliefs and perspectives out about John. I haven’t read them. Mostly because I was not a part of fandom during the first seasons. So if I reiterate already well agreed upon perspectives, or completely step on cemented ideas; my apologies. This is my first foray into written opinion for the show, other than comments, and my influences come almost solely from watching the show, and my own mind.  

I love John Winchester the most, because out of the three Winchester men, I can step into his skin the easiest. Time for a little self disclosure to help explain. I’m a veteran. Not a rough, tough, blood and guts veteran in the style of bad movies and action figures. I was a mechanic. A year of my time in was spent in a combat zone, true, but I’m far from the steely eyed warrior. All the same, there is much I know and understand about living under those conditions, because I did live under them. 

John was a Vietnam vet. That is what first struck me about him and attracted me to his story and character. Before all the Hunting started, he’d already lived and fought in a war. While ‘my’ war was much different than John’s, in at least one way they were similar; the enemy didn’t necessarily wear a uniform. Which meant they could be anyone, at any time. When I returned home, the fear and suspicion slid away with time. It was safe again. John apparently also readjusted. As Mary said, “He’s sweet. Kind. Even after the war, even after everything, he still believes in happily ever after.” He dropped his guard, and for 10 years led a life that was good. It had its ups and downs, arguments and trouble, but I’m guessing no more than that of a ‘normal’ married couple. 

Then one night he wakes to hear his beloved’s voice raised in fear. And he sees a horror unlike anything he dreamed. Within minutes, his wife is dead, his house burned and life turned upside down and inside out. What he has left is the charge of two young sons, one still in diapers and one traumatized. He also has questions. 
 
“I went to Missouri and I learned the truth.”

Those words, and what lay behind them, kill me a little inside.

The truth of monsters. The truth of not being safe. The truth of still being surrounded by an unrecognizable enemy. The truth that he had let his guard down in a war zone.

He thought he’d left it all behind him. All the danger, all the ugliness. He, a warrior, came home to what he believed was a safe place, and found out that after all NOTHING was safe. There were things out there worse than he’d ever seen or imagined. And because he wasn’t vigilant, his wife, his partner, his love, was murdered. Horribly. “They”, “them”, the faceless and unnumbered enemy were out there, unrecognizable, unseen, and out to kill him. But this time it was not only his life in danger, it was his family, his sons.

The war was at home.

I cannot speak for all veterans, but from my own experience, and from what every other soldier I’ve spoken to about it says, one of the very worst things to do before entering a potentially bad situation, is to contact home. It is awful. Hearing the voices of those you love cuts your knees out from under you. There were times I thought I was fine, happy even, and then a phone call home would find me almost doubled over from heartsickness and fear. The game face, the war-face, the right head set…whatever you want to call it, evaporates. You are just a scared kid who wants to go home. And to lose the game face is a big step toward losing your life, or your friend’s life. 

John needed his war-face, yet his home was with him. His sons needed a father but the boys needed protection. Compiled to this see-saw of emotional choices, would be the daily stresses of learning how to deal with life without Mary. How to provide for hungry stomachs while on the road. How to learn every single thing about the evil entity that had invaded his life, while making sure Sammy stayed dry and changed. How to convince Dean that everything was going to be ok, while his heart cried out that everything would never be ok again. In the end, he trod the path of providing for their safety by training them up as Warriors, instead of being their father.
 
“We had a bucket of extra crispy and Dad passed out on the couch.”

Holidays especially would have been hell. When away from home, and Holiday season came around, the absolute last thing I wanted was to be reminded of it all. The very mention of it simply reminded me of everything I was missing. The ideal was to have them as just another day on the calendar. But there were always reminders, music, lights, and the very worst, the dreaded, yet longed for, call home. I love my family, but contacting them on those days put me in a black mood. Was it selfish of me to feel that way? Yes. Was it something I tried to overcome? Yes. Was I in a good mood after the call? No fecking way.

Evidently, John sometimes tried to mark the holiday season, with (in my opinion, predictably) dreadful results. From what we’ve heard from the boys, John commemorated with bad decorations, bad food, drinking and not showing up. No Hallmark memories, which was doubtlessly very selfish and very bad fathering. But this is about seeing John as more than a Father, he was also a man in pain. He was a soldier on the battlefield, full of hurt, hate, revenge. I cannot imagine the struggle it would have been to attempt to put the ‘war-face’ away in order to rejoice in the holiday season. That he tried on any level is a testament to his love for his children. Should he have done a better job? Yes. While this neglect on his part hurt his boys, I cannot hate him for something I myself would doubtless be guilty. Yes, I celebrated with my fellow soldiers, but there was a different intensity to it. There was the common knowledge that we all must be ready to pick our weapons back up at a moment’s notice. The ‘war-face’ was never gone, just temporarily painted over. 

This was not a soldier home on leave for the holidays. This was a bloodied warrior, returning to his children directly from the trenches. He walked through that door every time, knowing the enemy was outside. There were no front lines, no safe havens. The only safety lay in constant preparation and readiness. One of the mottos of my unit was “Stay alert, stay alive.” This would seem to apply for Hunters as well.

My heart aches for Sam and Dean and they way that they were raised. No question about it, it was awful. Whereas John knew the difference of peacetime verses wartime, Sam and Dean only knew wartime. (Though I know Dean remembered and longed for a return to the safety of when his mother was alive.) ‘War-face’ was natural to their state of mind. Both the boys, in their own way, longed for a peacetime frame of mind. Sam ran away looking for it. Dean apparently experienced it best as having his family around him. 
 
“But, oh, he sure loved Mary. And he doted on those kids.”
 
“Anyway, my point is, Sam, that... this is never the life that I wanted for you.”

John’s actions as a father were enough to have his sons taken away from him. They deserved more, better. Yet they had each other.  John, being the stubborn bull headed man that he was, was alone. He lost Mary, his source of support and strength, and never accepted another supplier. He had a habit of alienating his friends. Being revenge driven appears to do that. (I am looking at you Season 4 Sam!)  As a result, John chose to lean heavily on Dean. This was one of his greatest mistakes. He trusted too much in the strength of a child, who was desperately pretending (in part) to be strong to please his father. Shame on you John. For shame.

Yet, as with all family dynamics, I’m certain it didn’t appear over night. After all John, from all accounts, was not a naturally bad father. It took grief, trauma, exposure to continuous horrors and years of practice to become the paternal debacle we met. That journey probably started out with small steps, “Dean, watch Sammy while I study this book.” “Dean, get him his bottle would you?” “Dean, I’ve gotta step out for just a minute, watch your brother.” “Dean, this is a gun and this is how you use it.” “Dean, don’t tell Sammy about what I do, he’s too young to understand.” “Dean, lock the doors, the windows, pull the shades and most important, watch out for Sammy.” “Dean, I told you not to let him out of your sight!” “Dean, we need to swing by Stanford to check on Sammy cause I love him more than you.” (Ok, this last one is taking creative license a leetle bit too far, but I’m pretty sure that is what Dean’s heart sometimes heard.)

John didn’t plan for their Hunting life to be permanent. “Dad always said it was temporary, Dean. He said it for 22 years.” He never meant to raise his sons in that way. I wonder how many times Mary’s ghost haunted his dreams, accusatory looks and questions about what the hell he was doing. 

“You know, I finally get why you and Dad butted heads so much. You two were practically the same person.”

It has been impressed upon us that Sam and John are alike in temperament. We know that John was sweet, and we all remember that sweet natured college boy who we met in the Pilot. Much of what I surmise about John, beyond what we see on the screen, comes from two places.

1.) Sam’s character. 
 
In some ways, their two lives parallel, and by watching the progression of Sam as he underwent similar experiences as his Father, one can judge who the man John was when away from his sons. I imagine someone not entirely unlike Sam was in “Mystery Spot.” Driven, alienated from those who would befriend him, focused, meticulous and somewhat frightening. John evidently kept SOME charm, since he was able to uh, befriend, Kate Milligan. But overall he obsessed over the scent of the hunt. The main difference between Sam and John, other than when the similarities of their paths began to diverge, was the fact that Sam had Dean. All the way through Season 1, we see Dean again and again, reigning Sam in, urging him to talk, get back on the path of living life, being a brother and so on. John was alone. He had no partner to support him, knock him over the head or give him a patented right hook when he was acting stupid. He had many responsibilities, fears and faults, but no one to say “I know you and I know you’re having a rough time. Let me help. And if you’re not going to let me, I’m going to anyway.”

2.) The end result of who Sam and Dean became. 

Those two boys certainly did turn into impressive men. They put others before themselves, they are loyal, have a good work ethic, are intelligent, socially competent, brave, confident, and they know what is of true value. All this tells me that while John will never be put up for Father of the Year, he must have been doing something right. The inner core of Sam and Dean are good. We hear again and again what a bad dad John was, but that does not mean that he wasn’t a good man. And it seems his sons followed his example.

Just to reiterate, I am NOT saying he was a good dad! But I will submit a theory as to why John treated Sam and Dean as he did. In Dean, he saw Mary, and Mary had been the one in whom he could trust, find strength and resistance. In Sam he saw himself, or at least the sweet and gentle part of himself. Little Sammy/Young John; two people Older John wanted to protect. In Little Sammy, John saw the last remnant of his own innocence. As Sam grew older, John saw the beginnings of the man who had let his guard down and allowed Mary to be killed. He wanted to protect Sam from that, and went about it in ways that he should not have. Instead of protecting him, he drove his youngest away. In the mean time, he kept leaning on Dean and assuming him to be in agreement with everything he decided. John may have ‘Maryized’ Dean to the point of assuming there would be disagreement voiced if there was any. Since Dean was a child who idolized his dad, this never happened, and the relationship morphed into an unhealthy Drill Sergeant/soldier role. Yet when Dean finally stood up to John, interfered, disagreed; John listened as he never listened to Sam. With Sam, he may have chosen to hear his own Young John vulnerabilities and doubts. With Dean, he heard the ghost voice of Mary. 

This isn’t to say that he only saw his sons as reflections of himself and Mary. But I believe that many of his parenting failures came from emotional transference, instead of seeing them as whole beings in and of themselves. In leaving Sam and Dean to go hunt down YED, I believe he wasn’t only doing it to retain his ‘war face’, and protect his boys, but to avoid the potentially challenging voice of Dean (ghost Mary) and to further distance himself from his own gentle nature (Sam). 

Comments  

Marika
# Marika 2011-04-09 22:10
Wow awesome writing. I really enjoyed reading this - as a fan from the first episode. You are a story teller yourself. :D
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-09 23:45
Thank you! What a fantastic complement. I am glad that you enjoyed it.
bjxmas
# bjxmas 2011-04-09 22:24
Awesome examination into that fascinating man, John Winchester. I too love John and I see true tragedy in how his life unraveled. I've always held that the men Sam and Dean became was proof that while he wasn't Father of the Year, John obviously did something right.

Perceptions and reality are never the same but with time I'm hopeful that Dean can come to terms with both the goodness of his father and his faults. Sam seems to have bridged that gap between what he wanted as a child and what John was capable of giving.

I will always hold out hope that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will return and help settle some of these issues. In the meantime, I love every chance we have to look back at young John and Mary, at the promise their lives held before it all went to hell.

Thanks for a lovely article. - B.J.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 00:03
The unraveling of his life...well put! May I plagiarize you at some point?

You bring up a good point about Sam bridging the gap. I wonder if it is because they were so much alike that he was able to 'get' it. I also hope that Dean will be able to come to terms with John. It seems like it would be an important step in the repair of his self esteem.

I also hope JDM returns!!! Matt has done a wonderful job, but JDM's John has that damaged and deeply flawed persona that I love. What that says about me...I will conveniently ignore. :-* ;-)

Thank you for reading and commenting.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-04-10 01:31
This was a wonderful article. I have always been fascinated with John. I would love to know more about his background. As you stated, he wasn't father of the year, but he did give his sons the important values that helped to shape them into very impressive young men. His family definitely had something to do with that. There's nothing wrong with a blue collar background. We also found out in Season 1 that John was a businessman, too, since he was part owner of the repair shop. That's impressive. He was ambitious since it only took him somewhere around 10 years to accomplish this feat.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 15:20
It would be fantastic if we were given an opportunity to look at John's background. The writers are good at what they do, surely they can find someway to fit the civilian family Winchester into a supernatural show. Right? I am also impressed that John was able to become part owner of his own shop. He was something else.

Thankyou for reading.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-04-10 03:34
Hi Naismith ( ;-) ), this is - truly - a heartfelt take on Papa Winchester. Thank you so much for taking the subject on and sending it in. I salute you.

Though I am sometimes at odds with the man, well yes, I do understand why he did what he did and the ways he did it.

We act in ways we feel comfortable with, ways that are familiar to us, that we think we can control. So it's not a surprise that John ventured into what he knew and felt safe with. He tried to be the best dad for his kids, in order to protect them. He made mistakes, but then again - so does every parent.

thank you for this very personal account of your feelings towards Papa John.
Love, Jas
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 15:24
Does this mean that there is room for John on your couch? :-)

Yes, I think you're right. When threatened, John returned to the old habits he learned while at war. I sometimes wonder how he would have handled it all if he hadn't been a soldier.

Thanks for reading.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2011-04-10 15:52
Oh, I wouldn't turn John away. Of course there is room for him on my couch. So, feel free to send him hither ;-) , dear.

Love Jas

P.S. I'm so happy for you - look at the positive response to your first article!
Julie
# Julie 2011-04-10 06:25
Congratulations Naismith
A wonderfully well written article that is a real labour of love. I cannot tell you how pleased I am that you decided to post this, and that it has been so well received. :-)
This is not sugar coated, you are not afraid to criticise and do not gloss over Johns faults, but provide a real insight into some of the reasons for these.
I will always have `issues` with him but wonder how anyone could have coped in the nightmare situation he found himself in.
As you so eloquently state, despite all the mistakes he made in raising his children he did something right, we do only have to look at the results. All those values we admire in Sam and Dean so much must have come from John.
Thank you for sharing your personal story and insights here, I look forward to Part 2 and beyond, and, hopefully many other articles
Love Ju
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 15:37
Sugar coating John simply wouldn't work, would it? But then love is more than sugar, thank goodness. A healthy dose includes acknowledging and the faults of those we love. Thank you for adding a 'but' next to your issues with the man. Coming from such a loving and protective Deanwoman, it means quite a bit.

Thanks for your feedback and for reading.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-04-10 12:25
A very fascinating article and so insightful into the character of Dad John and the whys and wherefores of the driven man he became.

He must have been extra strong as the devastation he suffered could have driven him completely mad and unfeeling as the character dad in "Nightmare" became. He had to push his natural sweetness and nurturing nature down in order to keep his sons safe and aware of the nastiness in their lives. And so came the combat training and the drill sergeant won out over the father persona.

I too would love to see JDM return at some time just to be completely reconciled with his boys, especially Dean now, as Sam seems to have come to understand him completely.

I have issues with John for the way he unknowingly took Dean's self-esteem down so far that he still has those issues in himself, which I don't think he even realizes. With Dean, it's all about Sam and his well-being that creates happiness within himself and not having anything for himself that excludes Sammy. Sammy is his job from the age of 4! He hasn't been able to find any merit in himself that doesn't have to involve Sam's situation.

The worst mistake John made as a parent in my opinion was telling his oldest son that he would have to kill his little brother if he couldn't save him. What a horrible burden to carry when your whole life has been to love and protect your little brother. I hope some day he can forgive his dad for that mistake.

I'll say again "a great article" and hope that you will write some more insightful musings on our beloved Winchesters. :-)
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 15:57
Yes, John's anti-fathering of Dean left scars and damage that I sometimes despair will ever be repaired. Yet Dean himself is such a good father. In almost every interaction with children, we see him making such a natural connection. It makes me wonder how much of John he remembers before he turned into the Drill Sergeant. Or how long it took for John to make that switch.

What John said to Dean about Sam is...there may not be a word for it. Chuck and Alice willing, I hope to explore that event at another time.

Dean's happiness depending on Sammy, is the biggest reason I am so enamored with Lisa and Ben. They are two people completely separate from Sam, hunting, and everything else that is familiar to Dean. They were wholly his. There were a concrete step in the rebuilding of his much needed self love. I only hope that there is more of them, or other similar steps, in Dean's future.

Thank you for reading and commenting.
Laurie
# Laurie 2011-04-10 12:50
This is the best article I've read on this site! Excellent!
I also love flawed John. Perhaps the most poignant moment in the whole 6 years for me, is the openning of the pilot episode, when 4 year old Dean runs into John's arms, and they are both so happy and so in love with each other, before the horror to come.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-10 16:04
That is a very generous comment, but thanks.

I also love that scene. The four Winchesters,hap py. Even baby Sammy was content in his crib. Considering what could have been is simply heartbreaking.
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2011-04-10 17:41
I absolutely loved your insight on John. I love John, and so wish we could have more of him. And am another one that hopes and prays that before SPN turns out the lights we can have another visit (or two) from JDM. Also agree that it needs to be JDM, not Matt (although it would be nice to see Matt again). But in your comments you stated that JDM has the damaged and despair persona down, he definitely does that, but I also think that comes with the age of the actor, being that JDM has at least 15 years on Matt.

I love the dynamic of John and his sons, especially the one he has with Dean (since I am a Dean girl through and through). John did have a lot of faults, but he was a good man who did the best he could in the circumstances he was dealt, and I think, if he were allowed hindsight, he probably would have played his life out differently in how he treated and raised Dean and Sam were he given a chance. I love to read fanfics, and I have especially been reading alot of fics with Dean and John. Many writers tend to write John as a gruff, unloving man that was unforgiving and more a drill sargeant than a father. This interpretation of John I do not care for. Yes, I think he was a drill sargeant, when the need arose, but I also think there was some happy medium there, otherwise Dean would have been more twisted, instead of innately good. Yes, Dean's low self-esteem is due mostly to John and how he treated John, but we can't lay the whole blame of Dean's low self-esteem on John. Other unseen factors have to be in play also.

As to Lisa and Ben. Huge fan. And I also saw the family he created with them to be a huge catalyst for Dean in his process of self-discovery and gaining a sense of his true worth. Especially now that he was on the other end, the parenting end, he could probably see a little bit more of his father's side and how he became what he became, and maybe understand it more and grow to better appreciate his father. I have heard we will revisit Lisa and Ben again before the end of the season, and I am worried as to how that will all end up. I do not want that relationship to end, I think it is a relationship that Dean needs to keep, in that it is something separate from Sam and from hunting.

John is definitely a complicated man who loved his sons with every fibre of his being, so much so, that he sacrificed his life to save Dean's. Another thing Dean and John have in common, they both sacrificed themselves to save the life of a family member. And as you questioned in comments, which would be an interesting article for another time, how would John have acted and reacted to this situation had he not been a soldier. Very intriguing question indeed.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-11 20:23
Thank you for reading and leaving a lovely comment.

Yes, JDM as JW resonates. He simply radiated 'Johnness'. Plus, he's got that glorious weather worn look and the scars that complement John so well. Come back to us Jeff!

I've not read any fanfics, but I do agree with you. He had to have been more than always gruff and full of orders. Looking back at how he interacted with Young Dean in 'Something Wicked' while packing for the hunt had love in it. And Young Sam brightened noticeably in "After School Special" when he first caught sight of the Impala.

This is the first I heard that Lisa and Ben might return! Thank you for that! I hope that they're return holds good things...though the likelihood of that is small considering our show.

Thanks again for reading.
Karen Dawson
# Karen Dawson 2011-04-10 22:46
I loved this rendition of John Winchester. As a vet I totally agree; especially as a single parent, I understand how John really felt for his boys, the love and protection so intense it comes out like it did.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-11 20:28
A pleasure to run into a fellow vet. :-)

I imagine you find much to identify with John about.

Thank you for reading
Karen
# Karen 2011-04-11 08:55
Hi Naismith
I’m in total agreement with everyone here. This was brilliant.
I always felt for John. It was a hell of a way to find out ‘the truth’.
I have to admit I too have had a couple of issues with his choices, but I would never deny his love for his boys and that he did believe he was doing the right thing by them.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-11 20:34
Thank you Karen. :-) S'nice of you to say so.

It was a hell of a way to find out. That was a wake up call I wouldn't wish on anyone.
JW
# JW 2011-04-11 18:23
Great article, good insight. Huge fan of John.

I thought your insights into his character were great!
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-11 20:36
Thanks!

Another huge fan of John here. I think that finding other fans of Papa Winchester is one of the coolest things, since it's rather unexpected.

Thanks again.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-04-11 21:15
Hi Naismith,

Awesome article! It provided some great insight into John, the single most influential figure in the lives of the Winchester Brothers.

Your article made me think of the conversation between Dean and Lisa at the end of "Two and a Half Men". Dean's trying to figure out how to keep this new family safe - this new family which has a huge hold on his heart. He also knows he hasn't been treating them well, and he feels guilty as hell.

So, in an attempt to figure out what he should do, Dean says to Lisa:

(Dean)"I don't know what to do here Lis... I mean if I knew for sure what the safest thing was, then I would do it.. Stay here and look after you guys... Or get as far away as I possibly can. But... I don't know... And I get what I've been doing.. With the yelling, and the acting like a prison guard.. It's just... It's not me. You tell yourself you're not going to be something, you know?.. But my Dad? Was exactly like this... All the time... And it's scaring the hell out of me."

My heart broke for Dean. He's trying so hard to let his gentle, loving side shine. But when people he loves are threatened, he acts out of instinct -- the instinct that John honed in him since childhood.

I love that speech because it's so true. We all have a parenting moment, when we channel our mother or father. We cringe, because as children we swore we would never do that particular thing But, we find ourselves doing exactly that.

However, I must say I appreciate this speech in a new way after reading your article. I wonder if it echoes a conversation John might have with himself when the boys were still very, very young? I suspect he was torn between keeping them with him, and potentially putting them in harm's way. Or finding a safe haven for them, but worrying whether that might also leave them unprotected. And I'm sure there were moments when he swore at himself for being a jerk, for yelling too much and drinking too much, and putting too much on Dean's still-slender shoulders.

I have to admit that some of John's parenting choices make me a tad uneasy. But criticizing his choices starts to make me uncomfortable because I'm forced to acknowledge the many times I've already screwed up as a Mom, and my kids are still fairly young!

Thanks again.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-13 16:28
Agreed! Dean tried so hard to be a good Dad, but John's fears and influence was the only model he had. I've hoped that stepping into a Father role would help Dean feel some closure about John's actions.

That speech was so well done.

I've sometimes wondered if John ever considered putting the boys into anothers care. Actually, I've sometimes wondered why he didn't! It would have been disasterous in the long run, but John couldn't have known that. It would be lovely to know if he struggled with that and how much.

While I'm not a Mom myself, I'm really pretty sure that all parents make mistakes. :-) You're acknowledging your humaness. Cool. 8)

Thanks for reading and commenting.
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2011-04-13 15:39
love this article. I always liked JW and I tried to defend him sometimes when I run across someone who doesn't like him that much.

Some of his choices he made while bringing his boys up may look, well, impossible to us normal parents but then again, we don't know what he knew.

For example, Sam complained once that when he told his dad that there are monsters in his room. Normal parents would have went on a pretented monster hunt and tried to convince them that everything is ok and that there are no monsters. But JW knew more then normal parents. He knew monsters are real and that they are after his son. So, I figure it is understandable that he gave little Sam a weapon instead, so Sam would be able to protect himself if necessary. And this is coming from someone who doesn't like weapons.

I am also happy to find someone else who loves Lisa and Ben and wants to see more of them. Wish they would keep them somehow in the storyline. But - argh - I am afraid we are about to loose them.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-04-13 16:31
Glad you like and defend Papa W. :-)

Quite right, John's parenting choices, while often bad, were being made in extremely odd and dangerous circumstances.

Thanks for reading!
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-01 22:54
Nice. I've pondered their relationships a lot myself and the one thing I missed was that you're right, he listened to Dean in a way he didn't listen to Sam. I could see the Mary/Dean vs John/Sam thing but I didn't connect those dots. Awesome. :-)