Thursday, September 18, 2014
Lessons in Fatherhood Never End
My eldest daughter who is 11 going on 16, had a bit of a spat with her mother. I won't get into the details except to say that for a time my daughter was quite upset and here was an opportunity for some good father-daughter talk, since we're buddies.
I thought out what I was going to say for some time. And so we talked. Well, actually, I did most of the talking. I assessed the situation and got all the forensic details so as to have a better handle on the situation. I then told her about how I loved her and how her mother loved her. I talked about loving God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves. I mentioned how hatred seeks to destroy other people as well as our own soul. I discussed how her parents are flawed people, and that we were once kids and remember what it was like to be a kid. When it comes down to it, we don't know what it's like to be the other person. We don't know what it is like to be her mother. But one way to try not to be angry with someone, I said, was to try as best as we can to imagine being that other person--an impossible task yet we must try to do so. I talked about how, when she is angry, instead of focusing her anger on the other person and stewing about how that person is bad, she should think about her own feelings and feel free to write them out. "Why are you treating me this way?" "Do you not realize how I feel?" "Why am I being punished?" I told her again how I loved her and was so thankful that she was my daughter, and that I wasn't mad at her but just wanted her to grow up to be good. In short, it was one of my finer moments as a father.
Me: "Well. What do you think? What are you thinking? What are your thoughts, Dear?"
Daughter: "Dad, I love you. Ummm....I guess I think that it's good for little girls to talk to their daddies and mommies about things. And I think it is good for boys to talk to their mommies and daddies. But older girls need to talk to their mommies."
And that was that.
Moral: Either the preteen years are when men start not to understand women or fathers become more useless (or both).
And so I work and blog and wait until the day in which I am called upon yet again to give more fatherly wisdom.