It Is Still About Dads and Daughters

anotherbirthday

You told me to get out of your room and said you didn’t need to hear me speak because you already knew what I was going to say.

I told you to tread carefully because I am your father and you don’t get to talk to me like I am a friend or acquaintance.

When you glared at me I told you I loved you and that I didn’t care if you were angry or if my timing was bad, it was time to clean up your room.

And then I walked out and ignored the words you muttered, being careful not to let you hear me giggle or laugh.

Discipline doesn’t work very well if you think I am not serious and though I am often not, my job is to make sure you learn how to take care of yourself.

Sometimes that means pushing you to make sure you learn about responsibility, accountability and understanding that good things come to those who make them happen.

****

The laughter came because I heard my father’s words coming from my mouth and you said one day you’d be a nicer parent than your own.

We all said that and we all meant it. Didn’t matter how good our folks were at parenting because we all just wing it.

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Two days ago you surprised me when you asked if I ever write about you guys and I was sort of pleased you didn’t ask to see what I have written yet.

One day I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom and you’ll get a chance to see what has been said about you but for now I think it is good for you to gain a little more life experience.

That is not to say you have to be ancient, like someone who lived in the ’80s to appreciate this but you won’t get some of this now. I sort of figure I’ll wait until you are around twenty or so, maybe a bit older before you get into it.

I can promise you that as you age some of the stuff you read here will take on new dimensions and you might like it more or maybe you’ll like it less.

If nothing else you’ll see that I am just a man, no better and no worse than any other.

That is something I was thinking about because as you grow older it is impossible for me not to notice how much you have grown up and sometimes it is hard to see how every day you need us a little bit less.

That is what I want to happen. I want you guys to reach a point where you are capable of handling anything and everything without us but I would be lying if I said that sometimes I don’t miss the days where we’d search for parking and you’d call out from the back seat and tell me to just pick up a car and move it.

Not long ago you looked at me from the passenger seat and asked me if I could hurry up and find a space because you had things to do besides run errands with me.

I offered to pick up a car and move it and you just shook your head.

“Dad…”

You didn’t remember the ‘old days’ and I am honestly cool with that, but I am not ready to say Superman has left the building just yet.

It Is Still About Dads and Daughters

We still have fun together.

You know how to make me laugh as hard as anyone and though you are very much your own person I’ll take credit for a couple of quirks and attributes.

That clown in you came from somewhere or someone and that guy is me, so did the black hair.

Speaking of hair have you noticed that as mine disappears yours gets much longer. There is no coincidence there.

You know when you turned your brother’s life upside down you did it to all of us. I’d like to point out that even though you guys might make each other crazy no one else will ever understand your childhood in the same way.

No one else will have that same connection and no one else will have your back in the same sort of way. Remember when things get  nutty and they will, that he’ll look out for you.

Don’t blame him for being difficult about some of this, he is just imitating me and I am just imitating my dad. So really if you are upset with someone about that, blame grandpa.

See how that works, send the crap up the line and know that if you say something to grandpa he’ll blame his father and so it goes. 🙂

*****

Did I mention that I try to write something like this every year?

They don’t always take place on around or your birthday. Sometimes I write them at other times, there is no rhyme or reason to some of it.

I do what I do as I choose to do it.

Wonder who else does that too.

Maybe some time you’ll read How To Raise The Perfect Daughter or Of Dads and Daughters and something there will make you smile.

Or maybe you’ll ask me not to embarrass you again and I’ll shake my head and refuse because I won’t ever agree not to protect you guys. You might not always like it and I can’t promise not to make mistakes, but the job description for a father includes “rip, mutilate, shred, destroy, disarm and dismantle as needed or necessary.’

Remember to tell the boys that when you start dating because I will never be too old or decrepit not to look out for you. 🙂

One Last Thing

Happy birthday to you.

Life is a journey and every day is just another part of the adventure. Enjoy it and try not to lose the ability to dream or look for fairy tales.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and even more fun.

Love,

Dad

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7 Comments

  1. Rachel July 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    My heart was melting with every line. I remember once being that girl. Your prose is beautiful & I hope when she is given the “keys to the kingdom” she will appreciate the love you have poured out here.

  2. The Imp July 24, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Ah, yes. I have a teen daughter, and understand completely.

  3. Larry July 23, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Honest and sweet – nice.
    I agree with the style of parenting you described. I’ve also said to my children,”don’t talk to me like I’m one of your friends.” There needs to be boundaries.

  4. Gary Mathews July 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Congrats Jack on raising her right.

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