Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Have You Seen Me Lately?

This is the Dad she gets, both of them, and it sometimes strikes me that it will very likely be a very different one than some of their friends.  Some of their friends won't have Dads around, at least not every night...not every day to tell stories to, and some of those same friends will have Dads that only see their children every now and again.  This girl, excuse me, these girls, will have something very different.  They have this Dad who feels very certain that we are doing things right, that we are, indeed, good parents...not doting, and not ignorant, just attentive, and involved.  These girls have a Dad who has an embarrassingly large collection of books from his childhood...not saved from his childhood, no, but rather, bought once again, and set on a shelf for his daughters (and himself).  He reads them when he's feeling anxious, or upset...they almost always calm him.  He finds that same solace in movies and on TV...if Dad is watching The Outsiders, or The Breakfast Club, Magnum PI, or YouTubing Return to Witch Mountain, he's most assuredly upset about something, and reaching back for some comfort.  He needs that sometimes.  These girl's Dad gets rattled some days, and feels weak and about half the man that others might think that he is.  He reminds himself that what he does is crazy...that how he earns his living is by doing things that other people don't want to do, perhaps don't know how to do, and certainly hope never happen twice.  For him they happen all day, every day, and he's good at it.  He feels competent and caring all at the same time.  He helps people that no one else wants to help.  That shakes a guys footing sometimes, perhaps especially a Dad.

These girls have a Dad who doubts himself, and always has...but not debilitatingly so, but rather just cautiously, perhaps prudently.  He knows that things just happen, and that none of us are in as much control as we think we are.  Once you figure that out something inside of you just flips.  These girls have a Dad who believes in things, in people, and ideas, and so much so that he's willing to lose, or to fall flat, or come up short, just so that he can rest all of his faith on what he believes to be true.  He needs people, friendships and conversations.  Not all that unlike anyone else he needs acceptance and approval.  A long time ago he decided that he needed to be somebody, that he wasn't cut from the kind of cloth that allowed him to be just like everyone else, even though he probably is.  He wanted to be somebody worth knowing, and that was about all that he knew that he wanted to be.

Zoey and her sister have a Dad that forgets to eat, and does things that he doesn't want to because someone else asked.  He forgets to take care of himself.  He sleeps too little, and he reads a lot. These girls have a Dad that talks a lot, and doesn't worry about what anyone might think about that.  He dreams, pretty big.  He builds things out of cardboard, big things, and he washes his mouth out with Listerine if he's had a beer or two and his daughter calls for him from her darkened room.  No need to breathe that on her.  He takes his daughter, and soon daughters for bundled up wagon rides in the snow...with sleeping bags and heated bean bags.  They looks for the best Christmas lights and the warmest and most welcoming looking houses, and they tell stories about who lives in those houses.  The girl's Dad sings in the car, and he's learning to braid hair.  He can cook a little, better than he thinks, but a simple hot dog might still be best.

These girls have a Dad that wants his daughters to know strong, confident, kind, and amazing women.  He wants them to grow up knowing them, and understanding that it's not something that other people are, but that she can be without hardly even trying.  Their Dad wants other people to love his girls as much as he does.  He wants them to love the people back.  He wants them to be the kind of people that can't help but love, and light up rooms, and just feel different.  He wants them to be different.

These two girls that pull on his pant legs should know that their Dad is a proud man, but not of his accomplishments or his possessions but of the perspectives he's been given or found.  He's proud of them, and of their Mom, and of his family and friends.  He's happy.  That's important.  These girls should know that happy is everything.  There's a lot more that they should know, about their Dad, about the world, about themselves, but happy is the start.  Happy is the big one.  If they can get a good grip on that one, Dad will sleep easy.


Blogger Beth said...


August 8, 2012 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

That's exactly what I meant!!

August 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM  

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