June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I was speaking with a friend who told me one night that the best birthday gift he had received this year was the following words from his daughter

"Dad. I need you."

Being needed is one of the most urgent reasons to live. My own daughter just turned twenty.  Two decades.  She will start her third year in university this fall, which is something I always wanted to do, that is to go to university.  I am proud of her accomplishments, but more to the point, I marvel at her growth and how smart and funny she is.

She has  a generous spirit, and strength of character and she is beauty inside and out.  I could say that she is perfect, but it comforts me in some way to note that her bedroom is a perfect mess.  Always has been.  Her mother once did an art piece showcasing the array of pink plastic that embodied the pre-teen years.

I have been in love with her since long before her birth.   She is my love child, born of a desire to create  an expression of  love.  She is my reason for believing in a future.  

When she was small, she would say to me, Dad, I demand a hug!  Those are the kind of demands that are acceptable to this management.

Mothers have a bond with their child that a father has to earn.   This creature did not come from inside my body.  So fathers have to earn that closeness.

I had to take  her to the emergency room at Children's Hospital when she was very young.  She was in pain, and I couldn't make it go away.  She needed me. And so a bond was forged; she looked into my eyes, trusting me.  She held on to me a little harder.  This was a feeling that I had never felt before in my life.  She was someone who needed me.  Someone who was placing their  faith in me to be there for them.

I still feel horrible about one time when I wasn't there.  I  remember taking her to the dentist, and telling her everything was going to be fine.  She was fearful of the dentist that day.  He told me he would have to pull a tooth.  I wanted to tell her first, but he thought it was better if  he pretended to take a look in, then pull without warning.  She screamed like I had not heard before.  I'm sure it was the shock of the extraction, but I felt it as the pain of having been told by her father that there was nothing to fear, and then being betrayed.I felt horrible.  I would not lie to her again.

One day we were on our way to school.  I was running late, but I told her I would get her there on time.
She made a sarcastic comment about being in a family of liars.   Ouch!  We were always late.  Then I made her get herself to school.  Funny thing, she wasn't late.  We joke about it now.

I have no idea where I am going with this post.
I just wanted to say to my daughter that I love you more than life itself.  You make me proud to be your Dad.

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