Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to my Dad!

You know, while I am not yet in the place where my child is an adult and on her own, I imagine that it can be difficult for parents to find their places in the lives of their adult children, especially as time goes on and the children begin having and raising children of their own.

How can a father be a father to a daughter who is in her 40's, raising her own child, making her own decisions, living her own life?

One of the most important ways that my dad continues to encourage me as a parent is by reading my blog. Frequent readers will have noted that on occasion, after a quiet spell, I precede a post with a comment that it has been brought to my attention that I haven't posted for a while.  Without fail, the one who brings it to my attention is my dad.  Apparently he has picked up on the fact that when I don't write, it's often because things aren't going well.  His phone calls and carefully casual inquiries into how I am always make me feel loved and cared for, even if I don't want to talk about what is going on.  He doesn't push.  He just asks, and makes sure that I know that he is paying attention. This means a lot to me.

I cannot tell you how much it means to me that anyone takes the time to read this blog.  That my dad does it is especially nice.  My dad and I are very different in many ways.  The fact is, he probably doesn't agree with or relate to most of what I write.  Did I mention how very different we are?   It doesn't matter, though.  He loves me, and that's enough.  He doesn't have to agree, any more than I have to agree with him.  That's not the issue.  The issue is that he cares enough to check up on me by reading this blog and that means the world to me.

When I was a teenager and just beginning to write, I used to show my dad my efforts.  It is a nerve-wracking endeavor, placing one's creative child into the hands of another, and waiting for the verdict.  No doubt my writing was immature, full of the naive dreamy silliness of a teenager girl.  My dad was a reader.  He knew what good writing was.  And yet, he would say to me, "I don't know much about writing, but this is good."  Everything I offered to him was received with respect, read carefully and treated like it was, well, real.  I was wracked with doubts and insecurities, about almost everything but especially about my writing.  Without Dad's careful attention to my work, I might never have continued.  He passed on to me a love of books, of the written word, and eventually, I received much of his library.  My first typewriter was a gift from him.  It was electric and everything.  I treasured it.

Today I want to wish my dad the happiest of Fathers Days.  Not just because the calendar says it's time.  Not even because this past year has taught me that one is never assured of another day in which to share these things.  I wish my dad a Happy Fathers Day because I appreciate his care for me, his attention and love.  I am sorry that I have made him worry, although as a parent myself, I am beginning to think that the worrying thing hangs on pretty much until the end.  I love you, Dad, and thank you for taking the time to check up on Gracie and I.  I hope that you have a wonderful day, and that you know that you are loved.

Love, Kelly

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